Bristlecone’s mission is to help people reclaim their lives by providing customized addiction and mental wellness treatment services. We do this by taking a holistic approach to the unique needs of each individual. Our vision is to strengthen our community by improving quality of life, one individual at a time. The agency offers a full spectrum of treatment, referral, and education services. Treatment is based on evidence-based practices and is provided by qualified counselors within a caring, supportive setting. Core programs include social model detoxification, residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient, and transitional living. Within these programs, qualified and trained counselors offer specialized treatment tailored to those living with co-occurring disorders (substance abuse coupled with mental health disorder).
The Need for Bristlecone in our Community
Northern Nevadans struggling with addiction not only hurt themselves and their families, they also produce millions in social costs that impact the criminal justice system, the corrections system, human services system, and Nevada’s overall economic and public health. The people we treat live, work, and raise families in our community. They are mothers and fathers; they teach our children, fix our cars, care for our wounds; they are hungry, living on the streets, ill; they are our brave veterans. Our mission to help these very people reclaim their lives from the grips of addiction tackles a clear need in our community. In Nevada, 9.35% of residents reported using illicit drugs in the past month. This rate is one of the 10 highest in the nation. The national average is 8.02%. There are an estimated 239,705 people in Nevada with a substance abuse or dependence problem, which includes approximately 21.45% of Nevada’s young adults from 18 to 25 years of age, and about 7.64% of Nevada’s adult population 26 years and older. For Washoe County, this number is estimated at 35,783 people. Recent statistics show an increase in Nevada for individuals who were needing but not receiving treatment for an illicit drug problem. Last year alone, due to our limited capacity, Bristlecone placed 187 people on a wait list for an average of 18 days to receive treatment.
Substance abuse has negative implications not only for individuals but for our community’s public health, public safety and family wellness. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the propensity for violence against family members, coworkers, law enforcement officers, or simply people encountered on the street by drug abusers, is a matter of record. The number of adults in the criminal justice system has increased 400% since 1980 and one-half to two-thirds qualify for alcohol/drug dependence or abuse. Of those released back into the community, 83% to 93% have not received needed treatment services. Almost half of all clients are referred to our agency by the criminal justice system. Treatment to this population helps prevent drug use and a return to criminal behavior.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that individuals struggling with addiction often have one or more medical issues. Substance abuse can lead to lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders to name just a few. Injection of drugs accounts for more than a third of new AIDS cases. Every $1 invested in addiction treatment yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.
How Bristlecone Changes Lives and Heals Families
If you were to see 39 year-old Sara with her four children today, you would see a devoted and loving mother caring for her smart, rambunctious kids. Yet, behind this thriving family is a painful history of drug addiction. Only six years ago, Sara was using meth on a daily basis. Her substance abuse risked ending her life and threatened the safety of her children. Sara was reported to authorities by her own mother. The day the police came to take Sara away, her children cried desperately for her to stay. It was the scariest time of their lives, but this pivotal moment led to a brighter future for Sara and her children by connecting them to Bristlecone Family Resources. Receiving effective, evidence-based treatment to end her addiction, Sara reclaimed her life and became the mother her children needed. Stronger than ever, this family clearly recalls the time when they almost lost everything to meth. Thanks to Bristlecone, it is only a painful memory and not a grave reality.
By providing customized addiction and mental wellness treatment services to more people in need, Bristlecone hopes to make lasting changes in the lives of people like Sara and her children.