United Way presents Helping people make Right Choice of Orange County

Published 5:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2022

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By Dawn Burleigh

(Editor’s Note: This is part 17 of a 21-part series on the partners of United Way of Orange County.)

Recovery Council of Southeast Texas – Right Choice of Orange County is an outpatient treatment program with sessions for individuals or groups.  Right Choice utilizes a multitude of approaches to include brief intervention, relapse prevention therapy, behavioral therapy and motivational counseling. It is also a partner with United Way of Orange County.

The Council, a non-profit 501-C-3, began in 1958, to provide education and treatment services, to individuals afflicted with alcohol problems, and their families.
With the escalation of drug abuse, these services were expanded to include treatment for chemical dependency.

At the Recovery Council of Southeast Texas, well-being is at the forefront of what it is working together towards. The programs and activities are designed to be a catalyst that helps community members reach their goals and fulfill their potential, according to its official website.

While Recovery Council of Southeast Texas has a location in Orange and is planning to relocate to a larger facility soon.

“We don’t treat just individuals,” Executive Director Tom Aardahl said. “We treat the whole family.”

In 2022, the programs is looking to add more outpatient services, assessments, individual and group counselling, treatment planning.

“All our counselors are certified,” Aardahl said.

The program is regulated and certified by the state of Texas.

Offering services for men and women, it also has programs specialized for females.

“There are unique situations females can be in,” Aardahl said.

Scientists who study substance use have discovered that women who use drugs can have issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. In addition, women themselves describe unique reasons for using drugs, including controlling weight, fighting exhaustion, coping with pain, and attempts to self-treat mental health problems, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Over 19.5 million females (or 15.4 percent) ages 18 or older have used illegal drugs in the past year.

When a woman uses some drugs regularly during pregnancy, the baby can go through withdrawal after birth, a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Research has shown that NAS can occur with a pregnant woman’s use of opioids, alcohol, caffeine, and some prescription sedatives.

Symptoms of NAS in a newborn can develop immediately or up to 14 days after birth.

“We help people who at the end of their rope,” Aardahl said. “They have burned bridges with family and have lost everything. The funds from United Way is a huge part of helping give them a second chance.”

The center does not turn away anyone in need of treatment but with the inability to pay. Funding through the United Way helps bridge the gap between those who cannot pay and those with insurance.

“We serve everyone,” Aardahl said. “Not only the poor, or the abused. It effects everybody. United Way helps those people. Can help those with nothing.”

Serving with the program for two years, Aardahl said it has been in the area for over 60 years.

“Some of the best people I ever met in my life I have met here,” Aardahl said. “They turn their lives around and then given the chance to give back and make amends. Do not let them be forgotten.”

For more information concerning Recovery Council of Southeast Texas – Right Choice of Orange County, call 409-670-9524 or visit  www.recoverycouncilsetx.org/

To make a donation to United Way of Orange County, visit https://tinyurl.com/mvb46fy7