Substance use is a growing problem throughout the world. It is a problem that exists in all countries. It is a problem in larger urban centers and sparsely populated rural areas. It is not limited to specific socio-economic classes. Substance use is everywhere.

The struggle against substance use is difficult: lack of supportive and financial resources can make seeking help for substance use difficult if the user doesn't happen to live in or near an urban center.

Woodland Centers of Montevideo will hold an Open House on Thursday, Feb. 27, to roll out their new Substance Use Program. The open house will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., and all are welcome to attend and learn more about this much-needed program.

Substance use is a growing problem throughout the world. It is a problem that exists in all countries. It is a problem in larger urban centers and sparsely populated rural areas. It is not limited to specific socio-economic classes. Substance use is everywhere.

The struggle against substance use is difficult: lack of supportive and financial resources can make seeking help for substance use difficult if the user doesn’t happen to live in or near an urban center.

Woodland Centers of Montevideo will hold an Open House on Thursday, Feb. 27, to roll out their new Substance Use Program. The open house will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., and all are welcome to attend and learn more about this much-needed program.

Nicholas Klein, LADC, is the Substance Use Program supervisor for Woodland Centers. Klein spoke of the need for such a program in our area. He said: “The need for treatment services is great all over, especially in Greater Minnesota. Chippewa County is not immune to addiction and substance use problems in their communities.”

According to Klein, Woodland Centers has been providing treatment services to many local residents who end up having to travel to Willmar for services. “To help assist individuals access services closer to home,” said Klein, “Woodland Centers decided to add substance abuse services at our Montevideo office.”

Alcohol and drugs are the most common substances that are abused, but Woodland Centers Substance Use Program covers a wide range of substances. “Woodland Centers’ substance use programs serve individuals struggling with any mood- altering chemical,” said Klein. “We also seek to help those who may have difficulty with alcohol or drugs, and need assistance before the problem gets worse and progresses into a substance use disorder.”

Locally, there is no single substance that causes more issues than any others. Klein said: “A majority of individuals seeking treatment in Chippewa County, as well as many of the surrounding communities, are dealing with alcohol and/or methamphetamine use disorders. How­ever, do not be fooled by the majority; there are still problems with opiates, marijuana and other drugs as well.”

No physician’s referral is required to participate in Woodland Centers’ Sub­stance Use Program. “Anyone 18 years or older can refer themselves,” said Klein. “What is nice about our services is that we can meet with an individual to help them determine what the first step should be.”

Taking that first step can be difficult for people, as many people do not want to admit to themselves that there may be an issue. Klein said: “Seeking treatment for an alcohol or drug problem can be scary, but we are here to make the process less intimidating. If a person is concerned about their substance use, or the substance use of a family member or friend, they can call and schedule an appointment with our substance use professional who can navigate the process with them.”

For those who may be curious as to how such a program works, Klein explained: “The new Substance Use Program in Montevideo includes non-residential individual and group treatment services. Persons seeking treatment begin by meeting with a professional one-on-one and complete an evaluation to help determine the most appropriate level of care to begin with.”

According to Klein, if group services are recommended, those will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. The program operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Group topics cover a variety of evidence-based practices, catered to each client specifically. Some of those topics include: cross addiction, mental health impact, family concerns, medication management, co-dependency, communication, and relapse prevention.”

Woodland Centers has offered substance use programs for over 40 years at their Willmar location, and they are looking forward to implementing the program in Montevideo. “In an effort to reach more individuals suffering from the disease of addiction, our Substance Use Program staff determined that expanding treatment services to Montevideo was a great first step in addressing the needs of the area,” said Klein.

The Substance Use Program will no doubt be a welcome addition to Woodland Centers in Montevideo, and will provide an opportunity for those struggling with substance use issues to address those issues and take control of their lives.