Hello to our Heartland House friends,

I’m Marilyn Lauer, a member of the Heartland House Board of Directors since 2008. This makes me one of the longest-standing Board members for our organization. I will not comment as to whether this makes me the oldest member 😊

As a retired teacher I take great interest in observing the learning environments that exist at Heartland House. Our staff members learn from each other, from doing their respective jobs, and through their ongoing professional education and certification programs. Our staff in turn impart to their clients the information and skills that they need to learn in order to be sober and productive citizens. And through our interactions with the Heartland House staff, we board members learn how we can best support and fulfill the needs of this amazing team in performing its mission.

So just as in life, teachability is a vital key to success at Heartland House. And while the teachability of each individual client is a matter of his personal willingness, I can tell you that our staff strive to learn – and do – everything that it takes to give each client the best possible support in their unique path to recovery.

The science of SUD treatment is ever-evolving as new and more dangerous substances become prevalent. The use of ultra-strong opioids like heroin and fentanyl continues in epidemic proportions.. Marijuana, legal accepted in many states including California and widely considered to be non-addictive, is continually being refined to alter its impacts on the user and is the most often-abused drug in our society.

The methods of SUD treatment are ever-evolving as well and require SUD professionals like our Heartland House staff to provide, as a team, the range of services that it takes to address the physical and mental aspects of each client’s treatment needs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse includes among its Principles of Effective Treatment these truths:

  • No single treatment is right for everyone.
  • Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
  • Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
  • Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.
  • Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.

The foregoing gives insight on the range of knowledge and skills needed by our Heartland House staff in order to do their jobs effectively. Serving their clients takes a team of persons with expertise and credentials in the medical, psychological and social professions that it takes to diagnose, plan and execute the treatment of individuals with SUD and possible co-occurring mental disorder(s). And it takes the willingness to continually expand one’s knowledge as more information comes available from those who study SUD treatment, as well as from the clients themselves.

In short, it takes teachability. And our staff, supported by our Board of Directors at Heartland House, exhibits teachability at every turn and makes us ever so proud of the House’s mission and how it is energetically fulfilled each day by a team of proud, teachable professionals.

Thanks and blessings to our Heartland House family and friends.

Marilyn Lauer


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