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S2L’s Weekly COVID-19 update with Dr. Andrew Daigle

Dr. Andrew Daigle is S2L Recovery's Medical Director and has practiced medicine for over thirty years, primarily in trauma and emergency medicine as well as palliative care. Dr. Daigle is also serving on the front lines of this COVID-19 pandemic in Hospital Emergency Departments in multiple counties. S2L is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation via telecommunications with Dr. Daigle.
Here is " Dr. Daigle's Weekly Update" for the S2L Team
Hello Team,

I want to let all of you know that I am keeping up with the COVID-19 crisis and will remain available to all of you. I will plan to give an update once a week and as needed. My goals are to:

1. Support the best practices and behaviors as we are doing now
2. Dispel falsehoods and partial truths
3. Quickly address any symptoms or concerns that occur

Here is a quick background. PLEASE pass this helpful information on to friends and family. The best management for fear and anxiety is information and planning.

COVID-19 stands for COronaVIrus Disease 2019.

Coronavirus is a TYPE of virus (other coronaviruses include the common cold…) So, think of this in terms of automobile Make and Model. Coronavirus is a Make, COVID-19 is a Model… and Influenza is the Make, influenza H1N1 is the Model

COVID-19 is a NOVEL (new) coronavirus and has NEVER been seen in humans before. It was a wild animal virus that mutated to infect a human, and then mutated again so one human could infect another. It is VERY CONTAGIOUS because the human immune system has never seen this before. Think of Europeans bringing illnesses to Native Americans whose population was very vulnerable.

This virus invades the body when the virus gets to the lungs. It gets there through inhaling larger droplets from someone near you within 6 ft or so, by cough or spray. Also, VERY tiny virus particles can hang in the air because they are so light when aerosolized, which is more common in a hospital setting, and why we need the N95s there. Regular masks filter droplets, N95 filters out 95% of aerosolized virus particles

OR the virus can invade through your mouth or nose after you TOUCH something that has the virus on it then go to your face. Over several hours to days, the virus moves into your lungs and causes infection.

Symptoms to look for:
ANY URI (upper respiratory infection) symptoms such as:

Sore Throat
Fever
Cough
Congestion
Shortness of Breath
Chest Pain
– Drainage
– Body Aches
– Loss of Taste and Smell

Other possible symptoms:
abdominal pain and diarrhea (in up to 20% of patients) usually lasting just a few days.

WHEN TO CONSIDER GOING TO THE ER:

For a small but real percentage of those infected, the lungs will be severely involved resulting in shortness of breath, especially worse with exertion. (Not “I think I’m a little short of breath…”) This shortness of breath can be associated with blue lips and fingers/toes and chest pain. However, you should only show up at the ER if you think you are so sick you need to be hospitalized (where the sickest people already are…). Your first step is contacting your doctor on any COVID-19 Helpline available.

FOR MOST PEOPLE, this will be a stay at home with achy, feverish, ‘flu-like’ illness. Your biggest risk may be spreading it to others.

TREATMENT is all supportive at this time:

– Zinc oral lozenges with early symptoms of sore throat. Zinc lowers the reproduction of the virus in saliva, so fever virus particles make it to the lungs.
– Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NO ibuprofen or naproxen and NO prescription NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as not clear yet if NSAIDs are safe.
– Stay well hydrated, indicated by having frequent and pale urine. Infrequent and dark yellow urine indicates dehydration.
– Multivitamins and extra Vitamin C, while remembering that massive doses of Vitamin C (6-10 GRAMS a day), will likely cause diarrhea.
– ISOLATE yourself, and everyone in your household. All are considered infected or at the least a carrier.
– Get tested by drive-through IF ABLE. Be aware that you don’t need the test to know that you have the infection. The positive test DOES NOT change how you are going to be treated at this point.

HOW SHOULD WE PROTECT OURSELVES AND OTHER?

Do these things to LOWER YOUR RISK:

HUNKER DOWN – stay home, go out in the open air and AVOID any contact with anyone other than your household. Bike, hike, garden, exercise, Facetime on the porch or patio, get some sunshine.

EASY RULE – for everyone you pass by when you are out – expect that they may begin having symptoms tomorrow – so stay 6-10 ft away

WEAR A HOMEMADE MASK WHEN YOU ARE OUT – save hospital-type masks and especially N95 masks for the hospitals and EMS/Police/Firefighters.
Consider bringing N95s to your local fire-chief or ER. There will be more and more ‘DIY’ type masks available. I found one that is made from a folded paper towel, staples and two rubber bands!

IF YOU HAVE A REUSABLE N95 MASK (workshop, industrial, etc) PLEASE CAREFULLY DONATE TO YOUR FIRE CHIEF OR YOUR ER. THESE WILL BE INVALUABLE FOR THOSE WORKING DIRECTLY WITH THE MOST ILL. (because these can be cleaned and reused)

WASH YOUR HANDS – a lot. You WILL get this virus on your hands, but it is really easy to kill. It is a fat layer (ball) around a single strand of protein. SOAP breaks down the fat and you have then destroyed the virus. Put your hand to your mouth or nose and you have allowed the virus to grow and infect.

EVERY time you touch something when you go to the store, etc., EXPECT you now have the virus on your hands. Wash with soap and water OR use 65% alcohol hand cleaner and wipe down purchases before they come into your house.

HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR – it is for times like this to draw upon positive character. Remember that everyone’s anxiety level is sky high, and everyone’s stress plays out differently – fear, worry, anger, denial, paranoia, with intelligent mature people making irrational and impulsive decisions.

HELP THE MOST AT RISK — consider things like helping elderly or other high-risk neighbors by calling and checking in regularly. They may need ‘runners’ for basic supplies and benefit just from your contact. Support your neighborhood by modeling calm but resilient behavior. Patiently dispel ‘myths’ with either facts or questions about the validity of their sources. Currently, the best sources are the WHO and the CDC website.

I’m available to discuss this, either by text, email or phone call. I am taking all precautions at my job in the ER. WE CAN FLATTEN THE CURVE, but it takes all of us. One carrier can unknowingly cause a full ICU in a short time…

And, importantly, this is NOT a surprise to our Lord and Savior. Remember, He speaks for Himself to each of us, through prayer, His Word, and through wise counsel. Each of us could ‘meet our Maker’ today or tomorrow in death. Perhaps we should all get to know Him a little better before that face-to-Face meeting. He is the Comforter, and Safe Place, and the Rock in this current maelstrom. He is loving and merciful and offers us the choice of dependence and faith in Him. Take his offer.

Depending on Him,

Andrew Daigle, MD

#HunkerDownWashYourHandsHelpYourNeighbor

COVID-19 Message

A message from our CEO,

We wanted to take a moment to reach out and address the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. We want all of our friends, family, associates, service recipients, and future service recipients to know we are taking this very seriously. We are monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our area and working very closely with our Medical Director to ensure we are prepared.

The following are some of the precautions we have taken to help curb the spread of COVID-19 for the next few weeks:

●Limiting our off-campus activities (church, catapult, gym) and replacing them with outdoor and on-campus activities
●Limiting visitation and replacing it with extended phone times
●Screening all new intakes for COVID-19 and referring them to our Medical Director if anyone is at risk for having the illness
●Maintaining a daily sanitation checklist
●Continually communicating all current CDC best practices

We are confident the S2L facility is a very safe place to be throughout this trying time. As a healthcare facility, we have policies and procedures in place to address any issues that might arise.

Here are some important resources that can answer any questions you may have on COVID-19, the response to it, and what you should do.

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Information Page
US Department of Education Addresses the Virus In Schools
Infectious Disease Society of America’s COVID-19 Resource Center
Centers for Disease Control: Get Your Community- and Faith-Based Organizations Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines For America – Resource PDF

Please join us in holding fast to the promises of Christ:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
John 14:27

Blessings,

Pastor Adam Comer

S2L Recovery Is Now a State-Licensed Facility

S2L Recovery is excited to announce that we are now licensed by the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

We are proud of all the work our members have put forth to achieve this goal, as it was previously thought impossible for a Christ-centered recovery program to become a licensed facility.

Our executive pastors have been working toward this licensure process since God put it on their hearts at the 2018 vision case retreat.

Roadblocks

The road through the licensing process wasn’t smooth. In fact, there were a number of costs that are typically difficult for a nonprofit to absorb:

– Hiring a clinical/medical director
– Installing a sprinkler system/septic system
– Paying a consultant
– Required policies and procedures.

Although these challenges were steep, removing Jesus’ name from our recovery program simply wasn’t an option. It was thought that bringing in the clinical and medical world would necessitate His removal, but we received some very good advice:

Hire a clinical and medical director that loves Jesus and has the same philosophy as you.

And that’s exactly what we did. Our clinical and medical directors share the same Christ-centered focus that drives our program at S2L Recovery.

A Message From Our CEO Adam Comer

“When God called us to this trailblazing adventure it seemed impossible. As we were obedient in marching towards it, God kept reminding us that He was God. So many mountains throughout this process became molehills.”

Moving Forward

Obtaining our license from the state of Tennessee is an incredible milestone for this ministry. Combining the teachings of a Christ-centered recovery program with the clinical and medical world creates a unique and special facility.

We hope to spread the capabilities this combination will afford us. We have kept diligent records of the process that took us here. It is our goal to train other Christ-centered recovery nonprofits to achieve licensing and put an end to this addiction epidemic.

There is hope in addiction. S2L Recovery can show you the way out.

Addiction Treatment: Medical (Disease) Model, or Something Else?

I recently spoke to a graduate of an in-patient addiction treatment facility in Tennessee. He said he was cured of his alcohol addiction. I didn’t know how to respond. My training as a therapist has taught me that being diagnosed with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a life sentence. AA groups all over the country are helping people cope daily with addiction. They teach that the person has an incurable disease. They must fight this disease every day. We encourage people to get into groups and to get a sponsor because these programs are helping people.

But…

Problems With the Life Sentence

I have always had a problem with the diagnosis as a lifelong disease with no cure. There are too many variables like life choices, family of origin issues, easy access to drugs and alcohol and simple behaviorism 101. The medical model treats addiction as the main issue and disregards any attempt to find a cause or triggering event or series of events. Some treatments even include using drugs like methadone as a substitute for heroin.

Logic brain wakes up, opens the door, stretches and says, “Wait. Did I just hear that we are treating people with chemical dependency issues with more chemicals?” We answer, “ YES. It is science, accepted by the AMA so you can go back to sleep now.” Logic brain yawns, goes back to sleep.

Denial is Powerful

We all have clients who make excuses and deny the problem.

  • “Drinking helps me relax, helps me forget, numbs the pain, etc.”
  • “All my friends drink”
  • “I just want to have a good time”
  • “Everybody in my family drinks and they don’t have problems”
  • “I only use heroin on the weekends, it doesn’t affect my job/family/finances”
  • “My doctor prescribes me pain pills for my back pain….It isn’t enough, so I have to make copies and go to several other pharmacies…”

So what I hear as a therapist are cognitive and behavioral problems. I don’t hear “disease.” I hear:

  • “My mother was a narcissist”
  • “My father abandoned us”
  • “My sense of self worth is very low”
  • “I am unlovable”
  • “The chemicals I use help me cope with life”
  • “My father beat the hell out of me for 12 years”
  • “I don’t think I have a problem”

Our clients are ready to admit the problem but accept the disease model because it lets them off the hook.

“It isn’t my fault, it is a disease. I inherited the disease from my parents/uncles/ancestors. Look, I am Irish okay.”

So we send them to AA. Or some in-patient program which will graduate them, and send them to AA. It works.

Solutions

I was excited to hear about a program that actually gave hope to clients that their addiction isn’t a life sentence. That program is S2L Recovery, a Christian rehab center in middle Tennessee.

The treatment program is heavy on Bible, so it won’t be a good fit for everyone. But it may be a good referral source for some of our clients.

My friend and his family are doing very well. His wife reports that he is like a new person. He has refused to accept a label, or identity that says he is an alcoholic. Instead, he says, he used alcohol to cope with his issues, but he has learned that he doesn’t need that anymore. His alcohol use was a symptom of a problem. He identified that problem and solved it. Now he doesn’t need alcohol anymore. That is the whole point.

Middle Tennessee College and Addiction Recovery Facility Join Forces To Offer College Credit for Completing Treatment


Williamson College is teaming up with Spring 2 Life Recovery to offer useable college credits in exchange for completion of the recovery program curriculum. The agreement will be signed on October 1st, 2019, and go into effect next year.

This partnership is the first of its kind, but hopefully not the last.

“We want other universities and other rehabs to do this, and we’re willing to show them how we got to this place,” said Pastor Adam Comer, CEO, S2L Recovery.

How Did It Start?

The seeds of this agreement were planted years ago when Pastor Comer met Dr. Bryan Thomas, Director of Academic and Student Services for Williamson College. Dr. Thomas and Pastor Comer were both members of a small group at Lifepoint Church in Smyrna, TN. They stayed in touch over the years and, eventually, Dr. Thomas learned about S2L’s recovery curriculum.

“As an administrator, I’m always thinking of partnerships and ways to provide educational opportunities for different student populations,” said Dr. Thomas. “Learning about S2L’s curriculum stirred up the idea of offering transfer credit to students that complete S2L’s recovery program.”

The Curriculum

Dr. Thomas was impressed by the structure and organization of the 7 Principles curriculum, written by Pastor Bruce Stanley at S2L. In one of Pastor Stanley’s previous roles as a department head at Nossi College, he gained experience writing syllabi and curriculums. The marriage between Williamson College and S2L Recovery was fairly seamless because of the shared values between the two organizations.

“Faith-based recovery and faith-based higher education have officially joined forces. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes,” said Dr. Ed Smith, President at Williamson College.

The 7 Principles curriculum teaches recovery through biblical knowledge. S2L Recovery realizes that everyone’s journey through recovery is different; therefore, the rigid 12 step program wasn’t how they wanted to design their program. Instead, they base their approach around 7 Christ-centered principles so that each student can find their way to recovery at their own pace.

Visit S2L Recovery to learn the latest on their efforts to further the recovery system.

The Goal

The immediate goal is to help each individual enrolled in the program. S2L Recovery aims to give their students the tools and motivation they need to change their lives in a positive way.

Dr. Thomas’ hope is “those who complete these programs not only have a road to recovery and become contributing members of society, but they can also earn degrees and become leaders.”

On a macro level, S2L Recovery hopes to destroy the stigma of addiction. Through changing the way people view the process and the result, they can give those still struggling a positive example.

“The ultimate goal would be to help end this epidemic through the hope of providing resources and encouraging people,” said Pastor Comer.

The students currently coming out the other side of the curriculum are already showing an improvement in how they interact with the world around them.

“Not only are students who complete recovery programs prepared to enroll in college, they are motivated to pursue excellence. I’ve witnessed it firsthand,” said Dr. Thomas.

What’s Next?

Both Williamson College and S2L Recovery hope to be an example to other universities and recovery programs. Although their program will be the first of its kind, similar systems have operated in prisons for years. These prison education systems have been shown to reduce recidivism rates by up to 40%.

There is an undeniable link between furthering a person’s education and healthier choices. Perhaps it’s the expansion of options a diploma affords an individual. Or, perhaps it’s the hope this accomplishment can instill in the graduate. Whatever the cause, the means of achieving these results will be made easier by the partnership between Williamson College and S2L Recovery.

“This partnership speaks volumes to an organization that actually gets it. The stigma is being eradicated, and, in its place, hope and purpose are being offered. This is a huge deal for the national recovery community,” said Pastor Comer.

The complementary program between Williamson College and S2L Recovery is set to begin in 2020. The signing day for the articulation agreement is at 9 a.m. on October 1st, 2019, at 3180 Hill Creek Road, Woodbury, TN, 37190.

Keep up with the latest news by visiting Williamson College and S2L Recovery online.