Valley Bridge

specializing in addiction recovery


28 & 30 S. Broadway Baltimore, MD 21231



About Us

Our Mission For over sixty years, Valley/Bridge House, Inc. has held out the hand of hope to individuals who fight alcoholism and chemical dependence. Our goal is to provide support and services that help bridge the gap between addiction and recovery, so our clients have the best chance at regaining their independence.

Valley House has served the Maryland community since 1955 when it was established as the first halfway house for male alcoholics in the State of Maryland. It was formed as a non-profit to aid and assist those destitute chronic alcoholics being released from jails and hospitals. The intent was to arrest alcoholism through the use of the principles of sober living, counseling, and rehabilitation. Its sister house, Bridge House, was founded in 1972 to accommodate the increasing requests for services for addiction to drugs and chemical dependence. We are conveniently located in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Clients live in a facility that promotes cleanliness and self-esteem. Clients are served three nutritious meals per day and snacks. All clients are subject to random Urinalysis testing and Breathalyzer. All clients are to attend a minimum of two (2) Self-Help meetings per day: A.A. or N.A. “This program has given me a purpose for my life which I thought was gone forever.”

Valley/Bridge House, Inc. 28 &30 S. Broadway Baltim e, MD 21231 410-675-7765 valleybridge. g

Clients share their histories, ambitions, successes and failures to motivate and assist in each other’s recovery.

CASE MANAGEMENT The staff is client-centered; emphasis is placed on

Our Staff

empowering clients with the necessary skills and knowledge to remain abstinent regardless of life situations or issues. All clients are provided with referrals to resources of medical, psychiatric, educational, vocational, legal, financial, and other special needs. TREATMENT PLANNING Individual treatment plans are based on a comprehensive assessment completed with a counselor to ensure that therapeutic goals are fulfilled. INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING Clients have a weekly individual one-on-one counseling session for intensive self-focused work towards the completion of their treatment goals. GROUP COUNSELING Clients share their histories, ambitions, successes and failures to motivate and assist in each other’s recovery. In addition, during groups the following topics are discussed:



• Disease model of addiction • Introduction to self-help groups • Relapse prevention • Relationships • Family issues • STDs and safe sex practices • Goal limits and boundary settings • Anger management • Spirituality AFTERCARE PLANNING


Anthony Jackson CIT COUNSELOR

Prior to discharge, each client meets with his counselor to discuss what steps the client will take to insure his recovery.

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Over the course of two days in mid-August, more than 95 people in New Haven, Connecticut, overdosed.

Their drug, however, wasn’t heroin. It was synthetic cannabinoids, commonly sold as K2, Spice, or potpourri. The fallout from the incident was so widespread that experts have referred to it as a “mass casualty incident.” In nearby Baltimore, a new study by the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) published this month articulates many of the problems with identifying and treating synthetic cannabinoid overdoses.

Researchers studied urine samples of patients with suspected synthetic cannabinoid overdose at two different hospitals, the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore and the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

They almost immediately hit a snag with their study.

If the patients had been using Spice, why wasn’t it showing up in their urine?

“When we got the results back, it was just kind of amazing because we expected to find a large percentage testing positive for the synthetic cannabinoids metabolites we were testing for, and what we found was that in the first go around only I think one specimen testing positive for it,” said principal investigator Eric Wish, PhD, a principal study investigator and director of CESAR at the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences.

Despite testing the urine for 169 different drugs, including 26 metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids, it simply wasn’t there. The issue, say experts, highlights an urgent need for improved testing for so-called new psychoactive substances, including Spice and synthetic cathinones, also known as bath salts. These new drugs don’t show up on standard drug tests, making it difficult to form a clear diagnosis. Designer drugs continually manage to dodge legislation because whenever a certain variety is outlawed based on its chemical structure, a new similar chemical is manufactured and sold legally.>>>

“People want to know what they’ve been exposed to”

“While the press and the media talk about Spice and K2 like it’s a single type of phenomenon, the truth can’t be further from that,” Wish told Healthline. “Basically what you have is some chemist in another country, oftentimes the DEA says it’s China, who waits and they see what has been put on the prohibited list by the government. And then they go ahead and they tweak the molecule a little so it’s no longer on the prohibited list and then they make it available.” New diagnostic measures One year later, researchers implemented an updated drug-test panel that increased the number of synthetic cannabinoids from 26 to 46. Even with this improved panel, only about one-quarter of the samples tested positive. The study also highlights several other findings that could potentially help improve immediate care for individuals overdosing on newer drugs at emergency departments as well as future public health initiatives. For instance, where a patient lives can foretell what drugs may be in their bloodstream. Researchers saw that in patients at Prince George’s County. Nearly half of them also tested positive for the hallucinogen PCP. Those at the Midtown Campus hospital were far more likely to have cocaine and fentanyl in their bloodstream. “The study provides public health officials, provides patients themselves, an understanding of the risks that they are exposed to,” said Dr. Zachary D.W. Dezman, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The fentanyl factor Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is increasingly showing up across the United States with deadly results. In this study, researchers found that among all substances, fentanyl was the most likely to be found in combination with multiple other drugs. In some specimens, it was detected with as many as 12 others — indicating that users either aren’t aware what is in their drugs or that users of fentanyl are regularly using many different drugs simultaneously. “I’ve had a number of patients who once they were told they were fentanyl positive… started to seek treatment,” he added. Currently, fentanyl doesn’t show up on common “dip tests” used in hospitals, but Dezman hopes that will soon change. Synthetic cannabinoids, fentanyl, and synthetic cathinones represent a new challenge for members in the healthcare community to identify and treat, but by understanding which drugs are being used in which communities, better education and treatment options can be developed. “We can track people down to a particular area code, and that allows us to do things like create, potentially, a mobile van for education efforts to educate the neighborhood on the dangers they are being exposed to, signs to look out for an opioid overdose, distribute naloxone, and potentially also start a mobile opioid maintenance therapy van [to provide] methadone or Suboxone,” said Dezman. People “want to know what they’ve been exposed to,” said Dezman.

28 & 30 S. Broadway Baltimore, MD 21231 410.675.7765


Patients who wind up in emergency rooms because of drug use have far more types of drugs in their systems than the standard screening test used by hospitals is catching, a new study has found.

While the drug epidemic has focused on opioid use, two-thirds of patients who ended up at two University of Maryland Medical System emergency rooms in 2016 had multiple drugs in their systems — up to six were found in some urine samples. Emergency rooms tend to use a basic urine test that, like a pregnancy test, turns colors when it detects certain chemicals in drugs. The test is quick and inexpensive, but detects fewer than a dozen drugs, including opioids. The tests don’t detect drugs such as fentanyl and oxycodone, both of which have contributed to record overdoses across the country. Knowing what drugs a patients has taken can help doctors better decide a course of immediate treatment, as well as follow- up treatment such as rehabilitation, said doctors from the two emergency rooms and researchers from the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. “We need to know the drug trends to know how to help people,” said Dr. Zachary D.W. Dezman, an attending physician in the emergency room at Midtown. Urine samples were tested from 106 patients at Prince George’s and 69 from the Midtown campus. Patients in Baltimore tested positive mostly for marijuana and fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic often added to heroin without users knowing.

The results highlight the complexities that exist in the current epidemic, said principal investigator Eric Wish, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research. In some cases, dealers are mixing drugs without the knowledge of users. Many of the patients whose urine was tested misinformed doctors about what they had taken. “It used to be [drug users] didn’t want to admit what they were taking,” Wish said. “In this age they don’t know what they are taking.” Maryland’s drug-related deaths increase for seventh straight year, reach all-time high in 2017. “People are like walking drug stores now, there are so many drugs in their system,” Wish said. “A lot of the treatment now is focused on opioids. The important thing for the medical and treatment community to know is they are using far more than opioids.” Lawmakers and public health officials need to know the extent of fentanyl use to help reduce it, he said. “The emergency room is a place from which you can launch those public health efforts,” he said.

We are here to help with your recovery 410.675.7765

eedom FROM ADDICTION is possible ! BEGIN TODAY! • 410.675.7765


By Morgan Eichensehr – Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal Jul 12, 2018, 7:00am CVS Health has installed safe medication disposal units in 19 of its pharmacies across Maryland, in an effort to help prevent opioid abuse and misuse.

w “This is for those medications that are sitting in your home that are no longer needed,” Davis said. “So maybe a patient had a broken leg and needed opioids for the pain, but has some pills left over — those drugs can be easily diverted for abuse by anyone who has access, and we want to help prevent that.” In addition to the medication disposal effort, the CVS Health Foundation is helping to fund opioid-related efforts at the local level, by awarding up to $2 million in grants to community health centers dedicated to supporting opioid addiction recovery. In Baltimore, a $85,000 grant is going to Total Health Care. The funding will be used to develop and implement care models to increase participation in Total Health Care’s substance abuse treatment program. Davis said taking part in combating the opioid crisis is in line with CVS’s mission as a health care company. “Our pharmacists are uniquely positioned as part of the local health care systems to play an important role in educating and also intervening on this issue,” Davis said. “Our mission is about helping people on their path to better health, and one of the ways we can do that is through heightened safety around prominent public health issues.” Maryland is among states across the U.S. that have been ravaged by the deadly ongoing opioid epidemic. Tom Davis, vice president of professional services for CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), said CVS is seeking to support communities that have been affected by the crisis with its medication disposal kiosks. The units will allow patients to drop off unused or excess pills from old prescriptions, so they can be handed over to police and safely disposed of.

CVS looks to prevent

prescription opioid misuse with disposal kiosks in Md.

substance abuse is common

but treatments ARE AVAILABLE • 410-675-7765

I recently returned to Buffalo after living five years in Maryland where, in the first nine months of 2017, overdose deaths related to heroin, fentanyl and other opioids reached a new high of 1,501. In response to a mandate from Gov. Larry Hogan, my colleagues and I developed an opioid awareness program for all newly admitted students at Johns Hopkins University. The recent move by the Town of Tonawanda to equip its police officers with naloxone moves that department from being aware to taking action to save lives. Amid the nation’s opioid crisis, why are communities slow to adopt the lifesaving antidote naloxone? On April 5, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams issued an advisory recommending that more Americans carry naloxone – not just emergency responders and law enforcement personnel, but average citizens. Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that more than half of opioid overdose deaths are caused by synthetic drugs, including fentanyl. While heroin overdoses evolve in minutes to hours, fentanyl is faster acting and more potent, evidenced by that overdose evolving in seconds to minutes. In his study, “Characteristics of fentanyl overdoses – Massachusetts, 2014-2016,” Dr. Alexander Walley reported that among people who witnessed naloxone being administered, 83 percent said that two or more naloxone doses were used before the person responded. Of those who died from fentanyl overdoses, 90 percent had no pulse by the time emergency medical services arrived. [in Maryland] overdose deaths related to heroin, fentanyl and other opioids reached a new high of 1,501

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