PROVIDENCE – When seeking treatment for addiction, too often family or friends see it as a stigma or a punishment. The staff at Clear Recovery of Cache Valley in Providence are working to remove those barriers and bring families together through the process. Owner and CEO Jay Hymas says his group is just trying to make a difference in people’s lives, and it comes from personal experience.
“Having struggled with my own addictions, and how my family struggled as well, I’m trying to break those chains and trying to show the way to the next guy,” Jay explains. “I’ve heard more often than not that people are ashamed about it and afraid of publicly speaking about it. That’s where I come in to play. I get to be their voice.
“We’re people; we love and we care. I was raised into addiction and I didn’t know any better. A lot of these people feel the same way. It’s hard to get past a lot of the barriers.”
The licensed treatment center located at 277 North Spring Creek Parkway in Providence works with several clients each week suffering with substance use disorders. Clear Recovery is the only center in the valley that offers the three levels of outpatient care: day treatment (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), and General Outpatient (GOP), along with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with all three.
Program Director Melanie Rust says the center helps people dealing with a wide variety of addictions, from prescription drugs, heroin, meth, alcohol, and others.
“One of the things we do specifically at Clear Recovery that sets us apart is our Medication Assisted Treatment Program,” explains Rust. “For some people, there is a lot of shame attached to that. They hear from other community organizations that if you are on medications you are not sober in recovery. We fight against that stigma as well. For some people, being on medications is saving their life. We help from a variety of angles.”
Another key component in the treatment center’s approach is healing the mind, body and spirit through yoga and meditation, led by Jay’s wife Lauran.
“The reason I have such a passion for working and recovery with the yoga and meditation is because it helps to bring the mind, body and soul into union and back together into connection,” she explains. “A lot of people early in recovery don’t have that connection to their body, to their thoughts, to what they’re feeling.
“It was really a life saver for me having those tools. I hope to be able to pass those tools on to others.”
Beyond medications, yoga and meditation, the center helps its clients understand healthy eating, healthy relationships and other aspects of life after addiction. They help build connections in the community with a variety of resources, including Utah State University Extension.
“I cannot say enough about the valuable resource Tim has been to our facility,” Rust says of Tim Keady, USU Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor. “First of all, he has a huge passion for helping people in recovery. It’s contagious the way he does that. He’s been working to bring in community partners once a week for our day treatment people. He’ll come in and talk, himself, or have other people come in.”
Rust says those have included a master gardener from USU, teaching the extension’s Food Sense program about healthy eating on a budget, a representative from Bridgerland Technical College to teach about setting up a business, representatives from Vocational Rehab, Department of Workforce Services, The Family Place and others.
“The more we can link those community agencies so our clients are familiar with them in our office, they become more familiar with the resources they can connect to and they are more likely to do that,” Rust continues. “Tim has done a great job of linking those people in our office for our clients.”
“Jay, Lauran, Melanie and their entire staff have been very open to allowing USU Extension staff to come into their facility,” Keady says. “The approach that Clear Recovery of Cache Valley takes with their clients is refreshing. They have a goal of ‘bringing families together.’ They take that goal very seriously and work to make it a reality. When one client is successful, they feel that they have all succeeded.
“I have continually been impressed with Clear Recovery’s staff and their caring and positive attitude,” Keady continues. “That attitude is very evident from the beginning for every client in their facility. All staff and clients that I have interacted with, in and out of the treatment setting have been outstanding people. the staff are part of a no-nonsense Licensed Treatment Center that recognizes that having a Substance Abuse Disorder is a serious and dangerous medical problem and the people seeking treatment are worthy of kindness and love. They support the individual and their families on the road to long term recover.”
Clear Recovery makes the effort of bringing families together for the healing and recovery process by hosting a monthly, open family group to reduce the stigma and shame attached to treatment. It is open for clients involved in treatment, their family members, or anyone in the community who has been affected by addiction.
“Family is such a huge part of recovery,” Jay adds, “getting back in with your family and the support from your family. A lot of times family members are concerned and they are the ones who reach out. One of the barriers to treatment is the judgement they receive from family. For someone’s family to not judge them, for the family to join them in the battle and help them find the resources is vital.”
The center continues to work with clients and their families to remove barriers and stigmas. The diversity of staff helps to accomplish that, Jay claims. The center employs people from all walks of life, including former addicts that know the path to recovery and the challenges that come along with it. The staff also includes a program director, medical director and clinical director, plus a medical provider who can come at any time. The center is also approved by the Judicial Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).
“What began as an effort to bring Narcan training to Clear Recovery clients, their friends and families has evolved into a new weekly program introducing a variety of educational activities. I can’t thank Jay and his staff enough for their support and willingness to try something new in their facility.
“The fact that they look at those who come into their treatment facility as friends and not as clients provides a clue as to why they are having success with their programs,” says Keady. “It is not difficult to imagine that Clear Recovery of Cache Valley may become a model for Substance Use Disorder programs across the state of Utah and possibly across the United States. With thousands dying of Substance Use Disorders, Clear Recovery is a bright example of the opportunity to change the treatment of people with substance use disorders from the Clinical Medical Model to a more caring model with the goal of ‘bringing families together.'”
“I try to show people that it’s possible,” Jay says with a smile. “It’s been quite the journey. It’s amazing.”