After Don and Lois Kimes’ youngest son battled mental illness and addictions for nearly a decade, the Rockville, Maryland, family finally found hope for him in Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services’ (BH&WS) Intensive Outpatient Program.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) helps adults who struggle with a behavioral health disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

“Our son has battled schizophrenia and addiction to marijuana and alcohol since his freshman year of college,” Lois said. “After almost 10 years and nine psychiatric hospitalizations, we finally found a program that treated both of his conditions together.”

“The IOP offers structured therapy to help patients understand the underlying causes of their illness and their dependence on drugs or alcohol,” said Marissa Leslie, MD, medical director for BH&WS in Rockville.

The IOP also offers a family support group, which provides a therapeutic outlet for patients and their families to share their experiences.

“When one family member has a mental health or addiction problem, it affects the entire family,” Don said. “The IOP family support groups were not only an important part of our son’s treatment, but they were also important to our healing as a family.“

Now 27 and a recent college graduate, the Kimes’ son has shown significant progress in his recovery and the family is hopeful for his future.

“For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have my brother back again,” said his sister, Elaina.

“My advice to other families coping with mental illness and addiction is to get professional help at the first signs of unusual behavior and to build a support network,” Lois said.

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