Graduate school professors Frigo and Frye share expertise with addiction treatment centers in Barbados

When leaders of Verdun House, a residential addiction treatment center for men in St. John, Barbados, sought expert training and development for staff, there was really only one place they looked. The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies.

In 2013, graduate school professor Daniel Frigo, PhD, traveled to Verdun House to conduct an assessment of professional development needs. Frigo then proposed a program of trainings for clinical staff, beginning with a series on integrated treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Verdun House was established in 2000 by the Substance Abuse Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization formed to "fight the harmful impact of illicit drugs and alcohol on the shattered lives of citizens and their families in Barbados and the wider Caribbean." In 2009, Verdun House received accreditation by the European Association for the Treatment of Addictions.

"Verdun House is recognized as a center of excellence throughout the Caribbean," Frigo notes. "The multi-disciplinary treatment team includes addiction counselors, mental health therapists, social workers, family therapists, psychologists, a psychiatrist, a medical doctor, and art therapists, all pulling together to provide the very best opportunity for recovery for their patients."

Clinical staff at Verdun House participated in a series of professional development trainings conducted by graduate school professors Daniel Frigo, PhD, and Brenda Frye, PhD.Early in 2015, associate professor Brenda Frye, PhD, traveled to Verdun House to train staff in providing specialized care for female patients. Frye focused on treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental disorders, with an emphasis on trauma-informed care. Later in 2015, she returned to Barbados to implement the training in conjunction with the soon-to-open Marina House in St. John, the first residential addiction treatment facility for women in Barbados.

"It was incredibly exciting and rewarding to be involved at the start-up of a much-needed program that offers real hope and promise for women and families," Frye says.

Programming at both Marina House and Verdun House reflects the latest thinking and best practices in the addiction treatment field. Care is individualized, blending evidence-based treatment services with Twelve Step principles and practices.

In addition to onsite training, leaders from the Substance Abuse Foundation and Marina House participated in week-long Professionals in Residence programs at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Marietta Carrington, director of human resources at the Substance Abuse Foundation, participated in training that focused on addiction treatment and human resource related policies and procedures. Janelle Chase-Mayers, supervisor of Marina House, took part in training that focused on supervisory responsibilities and duties in addiction treatment programming for women.

In March 2016, the three-year staff development project with the Substance Abuse Foundation reached a successful close with Frigo's formal evaluation of the cumulative impact and integration of the multi-phase training sessions at both Marina House and Verdun House.

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