Seeking Solutions to Substance Abuse in Silicon Valley

integrated system of care.

Seeking solutions to substance abuse in Silicon Valley
Mary Cook, drug therapist and the coordinator of the San Jose City College Alcohol and Drug Studies Program.

“A new idea is the addition of peer mentors to the levels of care, which increases case management opportunities and lessens clinical interactions,” Cook added. “Our county is embedding mental health clinicians into primary care facilities and we’re looking at assigning a patient navigator to follow clients who are more acutely addicted and mentally ill.”

She concluded that it’s important to “emphasize that the drugs replicate natural neurochemicals in our brain. The brain stops producing enough of the natural chemicals, predominantly dopamine, and rely on the drugs to produce the dopamine or endorphins all humans need to feel.”