After a traumatic car accident while driving under the influence, 22-year-old Daniella sought treatment for her substance use disorder with the help and encouragement of a Partners’ care coordinator and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Navigator.
At the young age of 13, Daniella started using drugs and consuming alcohol to cope with both post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Now, a 22-year-old, Daniella lives with several other health challenges including asthma and hypertension, and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and type 2 diabetes.
Daniella joined Partners’ Enhanced Care Management (ECM) program in 2021 through a referral by her health care provider, HealthNet. The ECM program addresses the clinical and non-clinical needs of MediCal participants, who are typically frail, impoverished, or disadvantaged in many ways, through the coordination of services and comprehensive care management.
ECM care coordinators conduct care assessments for social determinants of health during participants’ home visits and take appropriate steps to address the nonmedical factors and conditions identified. Through the initial assessment process, Daniella’s care coordinator recognized social factors like her neighborhood and its surrounding environment influenced her drug and alcohol use. They also identified her lack of support at home and her depression as contributing factors to her avoiding scheduled doctor’s appointments with her primary care physician.
To address these challenges, her Partners’ care coordinator set up reminders for Daniella and proposed telehealth or virtual doctors’ appointments. The care coordinator also connected Daniella with a new Partners’ resource, a SUD navigator. SUD Navigators leverage lived experience and a deep awareness of community resources to support members struggling with substance use in accessing treatment.
Daniella’s care coordinator and SUD Navigator encouraged her to get treatment for her substance use disorder following an admission to the hospital earlier this year as a result of her car accident. Daniella saw the
experience as a sign she needed to get help and take back control of her health. The SUD Navigator helped her enroll in the Tarzana Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol rehab center, and even attended the first
meeting with Daniella as moral support. Daniella grew up with little to no support, and environmental factors led to her turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with her depression and health challenges. Not only did she feel alone, but she felt constantly judged by others.
Partners’ services have had an impact on Daniella. Her care coordinator reflects, “she is happier and finally feels like she has a real support system with the Partners’ SUD Navigator and care coordinator on her side.”
“Daniella sees that attending meetings and getting treatment has really helped, and she has been completely sober for the past 4 months,” she adds. It was Daniella’s trust in her care coordinator and navigator that led her to now being more open-minded in receiving and asking for help.