Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Day In the Life at Sameem

Sameem Associates, Inc. with its two locations in Sharon, Massachusetts and Newton, Massachusetts remains busy as we approach the holiday season.  Many people think that holidays are harder times for individuals suffering from addictive disease and other mental health problems.  We find there is some truth in that.  Holidays often mean more involved family time, reminders of the past both positive and negative as well as thoughts toward the future.  These factors can be triggers for those who use substances to self-medicate their feelings.  We find however that self-medication can occur most any time during the year.  The importance of  recognizing how we react to feelings and then understanding that there are resouces available for help is what matters.

Our typical day at Sameem will find clinicians in their offices working with patients beginning at 9am and ending well into the evening.  Typically, the work may involve, speaking with an overwhelmed and desparate parent on the phone about their 16 year old son who was arrested at school for possession of marijuana;  interviewing a new patient who reports being a daily heroin user for the past 3 years but maintains a high level position (vice- president) at a well known insurance company in the area - the patient is symptomatic in the office - withdrawing and interested in an outpatient program so he can remain at work;  attending to several patients who have been in treatment with us but have relapsed and need urgent care or perhaps residential placement;  communicating with the university official or NFL representative who referred one of their division 1 athletes or players for treatment and negotiating the treatment plan;  running a therapy group for resistent adolescents - a therapy group for older men in recovery - an adult child of alcoholics group - and a stabilizaton group for individuals recently discharged from inpatient treatment.  These groups are running throughout the week and most of them daily.  Adolescents participating in the interview process with one of the staff from Massachusetts General Hospital - Department of Psychiatry, as part of the 4 year adolescent substance abuse research study Sameem Associates and Mass General Hospital partnered in from a National Institute on Drug Abuse Federal Grant.

In addition to the clinical work on a typical day at Sameem, one will also find staff preparing for presentations at local schools or community events;  consultations with primary care doctors about their patients, as well as drug testing for private companies, local physicians who are in trouble as well as Sameem's patients.  Clinicians also meet patients at local meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous to introduce them to this important resource while reducing their anxiety about going to their first meeting. 

Sameem Associates remains a busy practice and resource for the community.  We look forward to updating our activities as the holiday season approaches.

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