Clients experiencing benzodiazepine dependence often present with complex needs that lead to fragmented care. As well as substance dependence, comorbid mental illness such as anxiety, insomnia, trauma, and personality disorders are common, as well as chronic health conditions (e.g., pain) and psychosocial stressors. Reconnexion’s treatment model integrates the treatment of clients’ co-occurring needs in a stepwise and collaborative way, necessitating flexible service delivery. This presentation will provide examples of how we have evolved to meet multiple client needs through individual, group, and peer-based programs and how we link prevention, early intervention, treatment, and relapse prevention to ensure continuity of care, for example, how we have responded to the prevalence of insomnia in those dependent and withdrawing from hypnotic medication. It will suggest ways this approach can be adapted by AOD services working holistically
James Szeto, Clinical Team Leader, Reconnexion
James is a psychologist with experience working with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, relationships, trauma, and substance-use-related problems. He joined Reconnexion in 2011 and in 2019 became the clinical team leader for the benzodiazepine counselling team. He oversees service provision and design in a way that is trauma-informed and responsive to client needs.
Natalie Corrigan. Consumer Consultant, Reconnexion
Natalie Corrigan, a former patient of Reconnexion, is now using her lived experience to consult Reconnexion and inform our projects that emphasise consumer-led initiatives. She has been actively involved in cross-sector collaborations such as the Medicating Normal Panel and Safe Script Podcast, lending a crucial voice to safe medication cessation.