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Landry says STEPS making a difference in Ironton

STEPS of Recovery has been in Ironton for around a year and a half, and Dr. Nicholas Landry said he believes the treatment program is making a difference.

Standing for Structured Treatment Empowering Promoting Sobriety, STEPS is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) and offers outpatient medication-assisted treatment.

“We use Vivitrol, Suboxone and Sublocade,” Landry said. “And with Sublocade, we are the only prescriber of it in Southeastern Ohio, and the largest prescriber of it on the eastern seaboard, east of the Mississippi besides the Betty Ford Clinics in Florida.”

Landry said that the use of Sublocade, which is an injectable, extended release form of Suboxone, lasts around a month, and following six to eight injections, the person is often completely drug free.

“It’s the easiest way to get people completely clean,” Landry said.

Landry added that the program covers everything involved in treatment, including handling assessments, counseling groups, case management and helping people with needs such as housing, transportation and building resumes to help people look for employment.

“Holistic management is necessary in order to get people drug free outcomes,” Landry said. “It’s something we call ‘addiction wellness,’ which means living with the disease and managing it in a reasonably normal lifestyle with goals of being drug free.”

Landry said that he believes in the use of medication-assisted treatment.

“For folks who are concerned about the temporary use of Suboxone and Sublocade, the analogy that I can draw is that some people get tossed out into the pond and learn how to swim and get back to the shore on their own,” he said. “Other people have to wear floaties for some time. But once they get past that point, they get rid of those floaties for the rest of their lives.”

Landry said that anyone who wants to come into STEPS of Recovery must go through an assessment, as a way for people not to just use the program to be able to receive Suboxone or another offered medication.

Throughout the year, Landry said that STEPS of Recovery has different events and brings in different guest speakers. He added that this is especially important around the holidays, when people are more prone to relapse.

Along with STEPS of Recovery, Landry also has Ironton Family Practice at his office, and in Gallipolis, has Gallia Family Practice and STEPS for Recovery there as well.

In Ironton, Landry said that in less than a year and a half, four people from STEPS of Recovery are living drug free, with several others pending. In Gallia County, where Landry has been for more than 10 years, he said there are dozens of people from the program living drug free lives.

Ironton Family Practice and STEPS of Recovery is located at 407 S. Third St. in Ironton. To schedule a family practice appointment, or an assessment for the STEPS program, call Landry at 740-534-1200. Hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all Medicaid plans are accepted.