Case Study: The Daughter (Ella)

Jeff reached out to us for help while his 33-year-old daughter, Ella, was in the hospital for a suicide attempt. Jeff suspected that she had a problem with drugs or alcohol; he acknowledged that he had not recently seen her very intoxicated, but that she had had problems in the past. He was devastated about her suicide attempt and very afraid that he might lose his daughter.

Ella did very well after college, quickly moving into a sales job and making a good salary. Jeff described Ella as very smart and very motivated, but also said that over the years she had become almost reclusive and had shut many people out of her life.

I looked for clues about addiction in Ella’s history. Her story was full of traumatic incidents, despite a good home life. In high school, one of her close friends died in a car accident and in college she survived a sexual assault. Soon after that her drinking seemed to take off. Sometimes she was angry at family function, and sometimes she appeared intoxicated.

After college Ella’s job took her far away from her family, and though she seemed very successful she didn’t call home much.

Jeff’s world crashed in on him when he got the call that Ella was in the hospital, and he was determined to do everything he could to help her. We quickly arranged for a meeting with Ella’s close friends and her siblings. They gave details that her parents were entirely unaware of – her friends had pulled away from her several years ago as she was often drunk, and an ex-boyfriend said that she drank a full bottle of wine every day.

After that conversation, we knew what we were dealing with: all of the clues pointed to an alcohol addiction. This was actually a relief for Jeff and we quickly made a plan to transition Ella from the psychiatric hospital to a drug and alcohol rehab.

To determine how to help someone, it is necessary to hear the stories of the people around them. To find the right facility for a person in need, we need to know whether the issue is an addiction or a mental health problem or both.

Because Ella had attempted suicide, she needed to have a psychiatric evaluation before she could goto a traditional drug an alcohol treatment center.  We chose a treatment center that has a strong psychiatric component that could take her directly from the hospital.  After completely detoxing, she received comprehensive evaluations and was started on a medication for depression.

Ella was ready to work hard to overcome her depression and addiction, she reminded at the facility in “extended care” for 3 months, she was able to return to work; and she chose to live in “sober living” for close to a year.

While Ella still struggles with depression, she continues to do work to keep it under control, she knows she can no longer drink, continues her medication, and consistently works with a therapist.

Adam Banks is a certified recovery coach and interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery.  He received an MBA from the University of Chicago and built a company which United Health Care acquired. He learned his rigor and attention to detail from his career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.

Suntra Modern Recovery provides medical treatment for alcohol and opiate addictions via video visit with medical doctors. Suntra’s alcohol and drug intervention services are available in New York, Long Island, and the Hamptons. Treatment for opiate and heroin addiction, including Suboxone treatment, can start today.

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