One important lesson we have learned in treating people with substance use disorders is that we can’t just rely on an excellent clinical team — we also need lawyers to help address critical social issues that arise for our patients during recovery.
Gregory Singleton, Jay Chaudhary
May 29, 2018
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Tags: Medical-Legal Partnerships, Opioid Crisis
Organizations mentioned/involved: Indiana Legal Services (ILS), National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP)
Four years ago, Midtown formed a partnership with Indiana Legal Services. Attorneys work in the clinic to provide civil legal aid to patients in situations similar to Marcia’s. They work with the clinical team to break down structural barriers that get in the way of attaining support services. Many of these systemic and policy barriers are based on false stereotypes about treatment and stigma around substance use disorders.
Lawyers in our clinic help people stay in their homes when they have been threatened with eviction. They expunge criminal records that make it difficult to find employment. They also help people in recovery maintain or regain custody of their children. Lawyers are uniquely capable of navigating these complex systems, and we need their expertise on our recovery team.