Personal Medicine is any activity a person adopts because it helps them feel better and increases their sense of “Wellness.” When we talk about Personal Medicine, we are not talking about a prescription ordered by a doctor, nor are we talking about over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or street drugs. Personal Medicine is all about “Skills not Pills;” or things we do, not things we take. In other words, Personal Medicine is the behaviors and habits we develop that help us enjoy life and address concerns we have for various areas of our lives. Conditions such as sleep disturbance, psychiatric symptoms including anxiety and depression, and chronic pain can challenge the substance use disorder recovery process. For many people, these symptoms are the understandable, situational responses to the difficult circumstances in which they find themselves when they enter treatment. For others, these symptoms may simply be the protracted effects of long-term substance abuse. And some people in early recovery will already have, or eventually receive, a verifiable mental health diagnosis. Experience suggests that most of these concerns can best be effectively managed, at least in part, through behavioral interventions. The tendency towards over-reliance on standard medical practice for co-occurring conditions often relegates the person in recovery to the role of a passive recipient of a doctor’s care; usually a prescribed medication. Medications are often marginally effective, can generate unwanted side effects and don’t necessarily lead to better quality of life. Further, new prescriptions provided in early recovery can be given credit for improvements that are more accurately attributed to the processes of treatment and recovery. Personal Medicine is designed to address these concerns.
Jerry Fouchey, BS, MA, Sp.A., CADC
After several years as a Dawn Farm Spera Recovery Center Counselor, Jerry Fouchey currently serves as a Personal Medicine and Outpatient therapist for Dawn Farm. He has extensive experience in the field of education as an administrator, facilitator, strategist, teacher and practitioner in the areas of educational administration, curriculum, instruction and staff development, and has played leadership roles in many initiatives in various public school districts. He earned his BS, MA, and Sp.A. from Eastern Michigan University, has received additional training in substance use disorder prevention and treatment procedures, and is a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC). Jerry was instrumental in the implementation of Dawn Farm’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program.
Audio: November 28th, 2017