From Crisis to Compassion: Jaimee Harpster’s Dedication in Substance Use Recovery
In a world where substance use disorders have skyrocketed to epidemic levels, heroes emerge to guide those seeking hope. Jaimee Harpster, the Substance Use Hotline and Detoxification Coordinator at OneEighty, is one such hero. Her path into this challenging and compassionate field was as unexpected as it was profound. “I never intended to work in the addictions field, but the universe put me exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Jaimee reflected. Armed with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, she embarked on a mission to provide support, education, and hope to individuals and families battling substance use disorders.
Bridging the Gap: The Substance Use Hotline
A lifeline for those in need, the Substance Use Hotline is rooted in a critical need identified by police officers and first responders who found themselves unsure of how to handle situations after office hours. “People know how they can reach out 24/7 if they need help or are with someone who needs help,” Jaimee emphasized. This vital resource offers immediate support, guidance, and a compassionate ear during critical moments. Whether in substance use recovery or considering it, a substance use hotline is a great resource for anyone in need.
24 Hour Hotlines:
- Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault: 1-800-686-1122
- Substance Use Crisis: 330-466-0678
- Recovery Assistance: 330-464-1423
A Local Detoxification Option: A Path to Healing
Jaimee Harpster and Dr. Nicole Labor, OneEighty’s Medical Director, collaborate with Wooster Hospital to support a program that encompasses medical stabilization and detoxification – offering an important lifeline to those in need. OneEighty counselors are contracted to perform assessments and oversee discharge planning. This team approach ensures a safe and supported environment for those navigating withdrawal. “We are able to admit anybody who is suffering from alcohol, heroin, fentanyl, benzodiazepines,” Jaimee explained.
Medical Stabilization vs. Detoxification: A Vital Distinction
The concept of “medical stabilization” is emphasized over traditional detoxification, highlighting the comprehensive approach taken to ensure individuals’ well-being. OneEighty also provides the uniquely insightful support of a peer recovery coach, offering a bridge of understanding and empathy to those in need. Jaimee went on to explain that the journey of detoxification and medical stabilization is a nuanced one, where life and wellbeing can hang in the balance. Jaimee delved into the critical distinction between these two processes. “The process of medical stabilization is supports patients while they’re detoxing from whatever drug it is they’re using,” she explained. Alcohol, barbituates, and benzodiazepines withdrawals can be life-threatening. Jaimee emphasized that medical stabilization is necessary in these cases, ensuring safety and survival.
Unmasking the Deceptive Nature of Alcoholism
Jaimee explained that alcoholism poses a unique challenge because it’s generally socially acceptable to drink. Jaimee dismantles the deceptive nature of alcoholism, highlighting the self-diagnosis aspect. “Alcoholism is the only disease where you self-diagnose,” she asserted. She went on to explain that the failure to self-diagnose and self-delusion about the severity of the problem can delay seeking help, often leading to a dangerous spiral.
Substance use recovery brings a number of challenges, including cravings to anxiety. Understanding differentiating between emotions and cravings that can often blur together. Jaimee shared the intricacies of these emotions and their impact on the recovery journey. “Anxiety and cravings can feel nearly the same. Your brain is chemically programmed to believe that you need this to survive,” she explained.
A Family Disease: The Power of Education and Understanding
Addiction is often described as a family disease, highlighting its far-reaching impact that extends beyond the individual struggling with substance use. This concept acknowledges that the effects of addiction reverberate throughout the entire family unit – affecting relationships, family dynamics, and the overall wellbeing of all those affected.
When a person becomes addicted, their behavior, emotions, and actions can create a ripple effect that touches everyone close to them. Family members often find themselves grappling with feelings of confusion, anger, guilt, and helplessness as they witness their loved one’s struggles. The challenges posed by addiction can strain communication, disrupt trust, and lead to a breakdown in the family’s structure. Jaimee addressed the pitfalls of “interventions” and underscored the importance of being informed before approaching a loved one. “If they aren’t saying, ‘I need help’ in the first place, even approaching that conversation is going to be difficult,” she advises.
Recognizing addiction as a family disease can also be a catalyst for healing. Family involvement in the recovery process can promote understanding, open communication, and a sense of shared responsibility. Education about addiction and its effects can empower family members to provide meaningful support and foster a more empathetic environment during substance use recovery.
We’re here to support you.
We help people change direction with programs for addiction, domestic violence, rape crisis, mental health, housing, and prevention and education. At OneEighty, we actively support an evidence-based approach to sustainable recovery from trauma and addiction – restoring dignity and purpose, reimagining potential, and rebuilding lives. OneEighty offers counseling programs, intensive addiction treatment programs, group addiction treatment, residential services, victim services, recovery housing, and peer recovery.
For those encountering a substance use crisis please call OneEighty’s Substance Use Crisis Hotline available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year at 330-466-0678. For other resources, click the links below: