Less than an hour north of Baltimore is the Harford County Health Department central office, a red brick building reminiscent of a schoolhouse. Harford County Health Department offers many community services from three locations, but its outpatient substance abuse program is only available through the central office. Addiction services are available to adults as well as adolescents and clients with co-occurring disorders receive referrals to deal with attendant mental health issues. In addition, Harford County Health Department also offers addiction treatment to inmates and those facing charges for drug-related crimes.
Treatment and Staff
Harford County Health doesn’t offer medical detox as part of its treatment, although it does treat clients who require medication management. New clients are evaluated on a first come first serve basis, between 8 and 10 am and at 1 pm, Monday through Friday. Clients who decide to enter treatment sign a written contract agreeing to program guidelines, including abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
The most structured level of care is the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOP lasts between two and four weeks and is considered a great jumpstart to recovery. Clients in this program attend group therapy on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 am and noon and biweekly (or weekly) individual counseling is usually set up during this time. Harford County Health has a regular outpatient group (called Level One) that IOP clients are encouraged to step down to, which meets once a week for group therapy and individual counseling. Psychiatric appointments are arranged for clients in need of dual diagnosis support.
Staff at Harford treats both the IOP and Level One clients. Clinical staff members facilitate groups, which are educational as well as discussion-based. Educational groups are meant to help clients understand the physical and psychological toll of addiction and discussion-based groups allow clients to express their understanding of sobriety, its challenges and coping strategies. Through exercises in group and individual work with a counselor, Harford helps clients create a self-care plan to support them in sobriety. All are subject to drug testing throughout their treatment.
Every Monday evening from 6 to 7 pm, Harford offers a Family Education and Support Group at no cost for loved ones of those in treatment.
They have a judicially-monitored drug court program for adults, which includes treatment for substance abuse, and clients are sometimes acquitted, given probation or receive suspended sentences as a result of their completion. Harford also runs the HOPE program—connecting current inmates with referrals to substance abuse, mental health, medical services and shelter upon their release.
Harford County Health Department runs addiction programs for the people of the community and will not shut the door on anyone for an inability to pay. While its treatment methodology and step-down care is similar to that of other community-based treatment programs, their social programs—helping people with court cases, mental health services, medical attention and housing options—really makes Harford stand out.
Harford County Health Department
120 S Hays St, Ste 300
Bel Air, MD 21014
Harford County Health Department Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Harford County Health Department by phone at (410)-838-1500 or by email at [email protected]. Find Harford County Health Department on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
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