…for opiod abuse

Dr. Tom DeLoughry’s success in reducing requests for pain medications among hospitalized adolescents, and the eagerness of teens to teach these skills to each other is described in the true story: Like Getting Stoned.    

Research has confirmed the value of using cognitive-behavioral strategies, like the four Satisfaction Skills as both as a stand-alone therapy as well as part of a combined treatment strategies for opioid and other substance abuse.  However, their greatest benefit may be to teach participants to use these “tools” to prevent addictions or dependencies.

The Satisfaction Skills (awareness, affirmations, assertiveness and acceptance) were originally developed by Tom and his wife when Tom served as the director of the drug abuse clinic and coordinator of adolescent services in Child Psychiatry at Buffalo Children’s Hospital.

After the experience described in Like Getting Stoned, he returned to school to earn a doctorate in Health Education and Behavior.  He then served for ten years as Director of Wellness and Disease Management at Independent Health where he trained teams of teachers and other professionals to teach the Satisfaction Skills as part of:

  • Feeling Fit at School, Work and Home
    • funded by NYS Drug Free Schools monies in over fifty Western New York schools
      • a program for the whole student (as a middle school curriculum within health, home and careers and health education); whole school  and whole family
  • Feeling Fit with Diabetes and Hypertension,” funded by the New York State Health department and Phizer, Inc.
    • This demonstration that same same set of skills could help teens, adults and seniors to prevent and control both behavioral and emotional problems was honored by the American Managed Care Review Association’s Excellence in Quality Management national award.

Our “Caring Teams” program, funding by the Ralph C. Wilson Legacy funds and the Community Health Foundation of Greater Buffalo,  aims to extend this approach to caregivers with loved ones suffering from any medical, emotional, social or spiritual problem – including opioid addiction.

Although the tool we offer are in line with current research recommendation for opioid rehabilitation (i.e., integrate the use of medications with cognitive-behavioral skills, a psycho-social approach while instilling a sense of meaning), we are far from a “silver bullet” that can “cure” opioid addiction.  However, our approach can be of great value, in preventing any kind of substance abuse.

However, our booklet, workshops and webinars can also be of special value in helping caregivers to:

  • develop plan to address everything that might help (see the Planning Poem on page 16)
  • develop a Learning Plan (p. 15)  for each medical, emotional, spiritual or other issue they and their loved ones may face
  • reduce the frequency and intensity of the stress (i.e., the alarm response, snooze response, “stupid vision” and threat thoughts) as described on page 5
  • understand that the same Satisfaction Skills (p 4-9; 12-13) that can improve communication and reduce stress, can also enhance forgiveness and deeper your connection with the Spirit (p. 7) regardless of whatever name you call Him.