‘YOU AND I CAN HEAL’

Sun.Star Davao - - PULLOUT! - TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARIA GEMIMA C. VALDERRAMA

Many peo­ple strug­gle with sub­stance abuse and de­pen­dence but some do not get any pro­fes­sional treat­ment be­cause of the stigma sur­round­ing ad­dic­tion re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. For some, it is an em­bar­rass­ing and un­men­tion­able part of some­one’s life; and for many, it is a puni­tive and co­er­cive process in­side re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties. But not to Joseph Jerry “Jay” Valderrama who be­lieves that get­ting help with their ad­dic­tion is a pos­i­tive and healthy de­ci­sion to make.

Jay once be­longed to that stigma. His life was an open book in drug ad­dic­tion. He started smok­ing at 12, tried mar­i­juana at 13, drowned him­self with drugs up to his 30s, and sub­mit­ted him­self to a com­plete treat­ment in a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter.

God touched his life is so many ways but he ig­nored them un­til one day he lis­tened to that small voice in­side his be­ing. He wanted to change. So in that same re­hab, he started as a vol­un­teer.

Soon he be­came the Gen­eral Man­ager and the Ad­dic­tion Pro­gram Di­rec­tor. He joined lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional train­ings un­til he passed the ex­ams and be­came an In­ter­na­tional Cer­ti­fied Ad­dic­tion Pro­fes­sional (ICAP).

For 19 years, Jay has been clean and sober. That was some­thing im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine dur­ing those times when he was so hooked to drugs. Thanks to the treat­ment and his de­ci­sion to change.

Now, he wants to do more and ap­ply what he thought of as a re­deem­ing fac­tor in his life. He wants to put a new face to the tra­di­tional treat­ment in­side re­hab fa­cil­i­ties. He wants to share how he re­gained con­trol of his life af­ter de­cid­ing to change. Thus, the birth of J.J. Valderrama Be­hav­ioral Man­age­ment Cen­ter ( JJVBMC) lo­cated in Veloso St., Obrero, Davao City.

With a team of ad­dic­tion and heal­ing pro­fes­sion­als, Jay wants to in­tro­duce the value of out­pa­tient treat­ment where the team will give pre­mium to the abil­ity and de­ci­sive­ness of the per­son to change cou­pled with holis­tic ther­apy, cog­ni­tive be­hav­ioral ther­apy, and mo­ti­va­tional en­hance­ment ther­apy. They be­lieve that when a per­son un­der­stands his or her ex­is­tence and pain, the mo­ti­va­tion to change be­comes in­trin­sic. They want to em­power peo­ple, or com­monly called as pa­tients, to in­volve them­selves in the com­mu­nity, in na­ture, in ac­tiv­i­ties that will make them use their senses fully.

Along with the treat­ment and ther­apy, they be­lieve trans­for­ma­tion be­comes gen­uine and per­ma­nent. Heal­ing comes from within in­ten­si­fied with their treat­ment and sup­port. The Pew Re­search Cen­ter Sta­tis­tics noted that sub­stance use dis­or­ders are not just a crim­i­nal jus­tice is­sue, but also a ma­jor public health con­cern. Ad­dic­tion is a dis­ease of the brain; it can be pre­vented, treated, and from which peo­ple can re­cover.

This is where JJVBMC comes in to treat peo­ple, to make sure they re­cover and never to re­lapse, and to ad­vo­cate, at the same time, the pre­ven­tion of sub­stance use. “A cen­ter that heals. This is what we want to be known for,” Jay, an ac­cred­ited global trainer on Univer­sal Treat­ment Cur­ricu­lum Ba­sic Level for Colombo Plan Drug Ad­vi­sory Pro­gramme, said. One of the heal­ing pro­fes­sion­als is Dr. Rae­gan Joseph T. Vil­lanueva who is in­volved in civic ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to ad­dic­tion field. As Chief Men­tal Health Of­fi­cer, he uses mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary ap­proach to treat­ment.

“We fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion, treat­ment, and re­search,” Dr. Vil­lanueva, who had his res­i­dency train­ing at South­ern Philip­pines Med­i­cal Cen­ter In­sti­tute of Psy­chi­a­try and Be­hav­ioral Medicine, said.

With them is Dr. Emily Joy Mong­copa-Del­gra as the Chief Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gist. She is in­volved in clin­i­cal as­sess­ment, in­ter­ven­tion de­sign­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion which in­cludes in­di­vid­ual and group ther­apy, cou­ple and fam­ily ther­apy, and foren­sic (court and church an­nul­ment cases). As mem­ber of the Tech­ni­cal Work­ing Group of the Com­mu­nity-Based Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and After­care Pro­gram of the City of Davao, she de­vel­oped, im­ple­mented, and eval­u­ated a psy­chother­a­peu­tic in­ter­ven­tion for in­car­cer­ated “fe­male drug ped­dlers” at the Bu­reau of Man­age­ment and Penol­ogy. Along with Jay, she be­lieves that true heal­ing comes from within. “Jour­ney­ing with the client means help­ing him or her nour­ish in­ner re­sources that will help him or her find more mean­ing in life,” she said.

Ron­ald Rivera is the Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment and Com­mu­nity Out­reach. He has been vol­un­teer­ing in after­care ser­vices in the ad­dic­tion field. “I com­mit to help clients find the ap­pro­pri­ate psy­cho­log­i­cal, so­ci­o­log­i­cal, and spir­i­tual in­ter­ven­tions that will pave way to in­di­vid­u­al­ity and heal­ing,” Rivera, a per­son in re­cov­ery since 2004, said.

The cen­ter caters to con­sul­ta­tion for sub­stance use dis­or­der. The Dan­ger­ous Drugs Board (DDB) ac­cred­ited physi­cian, reg­is­tered psy­chol­o­gist, and an ICAP will con­duct screen­ing, as­sess­ment, and drug de­pen­dency ex­am­i­na­tion.

It has Case Man­age­ment where the team of pro­fes­sion­als col­lab­o­rate with the client to for­mu­late the per­son­al­ized treat­ment plan needed.

But the cen­ter does not only cater to ad­dic­tion prob­lems. It pro­vides psy­cho­log­i­cal test­ing and con­sul­ta­tion prior to car­ry­ing out any psy­cho­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions. It of­fers psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion and con­sul­ta­tion.The cen­ter also of­fers con­sul­ta­tion for Home-Based Man­age­ment, Cor­po­rate Well­ness Pro­gram, Com­mu­nity-Based Re­cov­ery Pro­gram, Stu­dent As­sis­tance Pro­gram, sub­stance-in­duced dis­or­der, ado­les­cent be­hav­ior prob­lem, cou­ple’s ther­apy, and fam­ily ther­apy. “You and I can heal. Let us sus­tain and cel­e­brate life in re­cov­ery,” Jay said.

“God touched his life in so many ways but he ig­nored them un­til one day he lis­tened to that small voice in­side his be­ing. He wanted to change. So in that same re­hab, he started as a vol­un­teer.”

The team of pro­fes­sion­als with con­sul­tants in craft­ing the vi­sion, mis­sion and core val­ues

Team of pro­fes­sion­als - Dr. Rae­gan Joseph T. Vil­lanueva, Dr. Emily Joy Mong­co­paDel­gra, ICAP Jay Valderrama, Ron­ald Rivera

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