SA­LON EX­AM­INES OPI­OID EPI­DEMIC

Tempo - - CONTENTS - By T.L. Tester­man

Help­ing peo­ple re­cover from ad­dic­tions is per­sonal for Dr. Gina Perez- Baron, the founder and di­rec­tor of Alchemy In­te­grated Medicine in Taos. She said her mother has been in re­cov­ery for 20 years, and she is in­ti­mately fa­mil­iar with the strug­gles of an ad­dict and the im­pact they have on the fam­ily and com­mu­nity.

“Mu­sic Theatre and Opi­ates,

Otilia Ro­dríguez, will ex­plore the sci­ence of ad­dic­tion with an evening of mu­sic and

at Quechua Restau­rant, 122 in Taos. Metta Theatre di­rec­tor Bruce McIn­tosh will be read­ing a piece from his ob­ser­va­tions work­ing closely with youth in the Taos com­mu­nity and pieces that were writ­ten by in­car­cer­ated youths about the im­pact ad­dic­tion had on their lives. Mcin­tosh said he has wit­nessed “ut­ter de­struc­tion of gifted, in­tel­li­gent, beau­ti­ful young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.” In ad­di­tion, mu­si­cian Dino Archuleta will per­form, and Liz Sump from Com­mu­nity Against Vi­o­lence will also par­tic­i­pate. Perez- Baron said, “The evening is an op­por­tu­nity for ed­u­ca­tion, both in­tel­lec­tu­ally but also in our hearts.”

Perez- Baron said there is a “lack of un­der­stand­ing about what opi­ate ad­dic­tion is and what we can do to sup­port peo­ple who want to get well.” She calls the work “trans­for­ma­tive ed­u­ca­tion; it is ed­u­ca­tion that leads to ac­tion.” The pur­pose of her work, she said, is “to equip peo­ple in the com­mu­nity … teach­ers, law en­force­ment, and fam­ily, so they may be part of re­siliency and sup­port.”

She said the bias as­so­ci­ated with ad­dic­tion needs to shift and be treated like any med­i­cal con­di­tion, “heart fail­ure, di­a­betes, for ex­am­ple.” PerezBaron con­tin­ued, “Taos was an

be­fore and con­se­quently longer than any­one in the na­tion.” She added, “There is a strong sense of spirit that is in the dirt here. It has the abil­ity to trans­form us. We can turn that magic to­wards some of these prob­lems … We have a solid sense of com­mu­nity here. We need to use the strength of our cul­ture to help us nav­i­gate through this.”

Perez- Baron said suc­cess­ful ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery is like a

back­ward: “You can get back the car, the dog and the girl.”

She has been pro­vid­ing pri­mary care for the treat­ment of opi­ate and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion in North­ern New Mex­ico since 2013. In 2009, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Stan­ford Med­i­cal School, she re­lo­cated to her mother’s home state of New Mex­ico. she worked in Grants, Arte­sia, and Questa pro­vid­ing pri­mary care. With a keen in­ter­est in ad­dic­tion medicine, she be­gan treat­ing pa­tients in­di­vid­u­ally in Questa in 2013.

Two years later, Perez- Baron started a pri­vate prac­tice with her ru­ral clinic pa­tients and be­gan her novel group pro­gram at Questa Health Cen­ter. Perez- Baron es­tab­lished a pro­gram for treat­ing

in­te­grated, ver­i­fied and group ther­a­py­based,” and it has been ac­knowl­edged lo­cally and na­tion­ally as a model of cur­rent “best prac­tices” for ad­dic­tion treat­ment. Alchemy In­te­grated Medicine opened its

she wanted to re­turn to Taos to pro­vide med­i­cal care and ex­pand ad­dic­tion

At­ten­dees to the sa­lon are in­vited to join Perez- Baron for a sit- down “Ask the Doc­tor” Peru­vian din­ner af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion. Reser­va­tions for the din­ner are re­quired. There are 15 seats avail­able. Call ( 575) 613- 2570.

RICK RO­MANCITO

METTA THEATRE Di­rec­tor Bruce McIn­tosh

KATHARINE EGLI

di­rec­tor of Alchemy In­te­grated Medicine

RICK RO­MANCITO

SA­LON HOST Anita Ro­dríguez

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