(Special thanks to Dr. Caitlin Simpson for her time and insights)
Long before I blogged for Chicago Now, I trained to be a substance abuse counselor. Although I shifted focus in my professional career, I still have a casual interest in the field, especially tobacco prevention. So I took the opportunity to speak with Dr. Caitlin Simpson of Footprints to Recovery, a treatment center with facilities in Arlington Heights, to learn about modern approaches to addiction and recovery...and to indulge my professional and personal curiosity.
Founded in 2013, Footprints to Recovery began with a simple mission: to help a loved one deal with the problems of addiction. However, finding the right treatment facility was difficult, with low access and concerns about the quality of treatment. So Footprints to Recovery was created with a mission to provide good, high quality, progressive, evidence-based treatment for those wishing to cover addition. Although a for-profit entity, Footprints to Recovery regularly scholarships to provide addiction treatment for those who cannot normally afford it.
The overall goal of Footprints to Recovery is simple: provide help to as many people as possible. With addiction issues throughout the state (Chicago data can be found in this downloadable PDF), Footprints to Recovery is a great addition to our currently available resources.
Taking a client-centered approach, Footprints to Recovery ensures that every client receives the highest possible quality of care starting with the initial call. The intake process involves assessing physical and mental health, current stressors, and other factors that can enhance or impede recovery. Footprints to Recovery adopts the philosophy that addiction is a symptom of greater, more underlying issues, and addressing those issues can assist the person in their overall recovery. (Although slightly differing from the traditional disease model of addiction, Footprints to Recovery's approach integrates a more holistic view of addiction and its impact on daily living).
Part of the client-centered approach that Footprints to Recovery takes includes focusing on the totality of the client's experience and encompassing their needs. With flexibility in scheduling (dependent on treatment level), clients receive a wide range of services that assist them in developing overall wellness. (This not only includes helping clients manage their emotions. Services for clients at Footprints to Recovery include expressive-based therapies (like cognitive-behavioral therapy and DVT), trauma recovery programs (according to Dr. Simpson, 90% of their clients have experienced trauma in their lifetime) as well as yoga, tai-chi, and nutrition. Aftercare from Footprints to Recovery includes an alumni program (for further support) and other services.
But Footprints to Recovery also believes that addiction has an impact on the family. Not only does Footprints to Recovery have a family day for their clients, but they also sponsor a Smart Recovery Friends and Family Group (open to the community) on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Family members can be affected by a loved one's alcohol or drug use, but there are various resources throughout the Chicago area, including
- For those affected by another's drinking, Al-Anon is a great resource to consider;
- For those affected by another's drug use, consider checking out Nar-Anon;
Hazelden offers a family program led by staff (including lecture and breakout session) on Tuesday nights from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
- The Center for Authentic Living in Park Ridge provides a once-a-month support group;
- The Live4Lali Community Resource Center provides multiple opportunities for families and friends of addicts to connect and find support;
- For those who lost a loved one through substance abuse, GRASP provides online and offline support (registration is required).
Dealing with addiction can be extremely isolating...both for the user and their loved ones. Footprints to Recovery is a well-needed resource that is dealing with a critical concern. They're a great addition to our local community...and a great neighbor to know.
And as always, thanks for reading!