By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer
The stress of deployment overseas can come with a cost to individuals and their families — not only during the time the service member is gone, but before and after.
One non-profit organization in Clovis, called Junctions, aims to help local residents who suffer from alcohol or substance abuse issues.
Jackie Hoppe, co-owner of Junctions, said the function of her business is well-known enough that potential clients would prefer not being seen going in and out of the building on Main Street in Clovis.
“Basically, what we do is help people achieve and maintain sobriety and we offer confidential help for those individuals,” Hoppe said. “We’re not obligated or required to report to the military for anyone who comes to our door for help.”
Junctions offers free access to recovery support services such as child care, transportation, massage therapy and chiropractic help. The business refers clients to other counseling services, which are paid for by Junctions — which is financially reimbursed by a federal Access to Recovery grant.
The two major criteria is that the client must meet low income eligibility and that the person isn’t already covered for substance abuse from an insurance provider.
For military members at Cannon, according to Hoppe, the latter criterion is one reason dependents often seek out help for active duty members suffering with substance abuse. Hoppe said that the TRICARE military insurance does not cover dependents in such areas.
Della Garlitz, who owns Junctions with Hoppe, said that providing services for dependents can often have a direct positive effect on the welfare of the one suffering with addiction.
Meeting up with dependents, or whoever else might be in need, can be a tricky process however. Garlitz and Hoppe, who opened Junctions in May 2008, say that a prevailing stigma exists for those who need assistance but are worried how it might affect their jobs.
“If we get a particular client who does not want to come in during daylight hours, then we’ll make special arrangements to meet them off-site,” Hoppe said. “In the evening, on the weekends, whatever we need to do to make the client comfortable.
“We keep it public for my staff’s safety. You don’t want to go meet someone in a dark alley or anything like that,” she added.
Both women are quite familiar with the attitudes of those in the service. Hoppe’s husband is retired from the Air Force while Garlitz’ husband is still active duty at Cannon Air Force Base.
While post-traumatic stress disorder is a commonly diagnosed root source of problems for military men and women returning home, Garlitz said the road to addiction or abuse can happen before deployment even happens.
“Sometimes it starts when they’re overseas. Sometimes it starts before they go, “They think, ‘What’s going to happen when I’m gone?,’” Garlitz said. “Before they leave, it’s usually not the active duty that’s having the challenges, it’s the family.
“You’ve just moved to the area and, before you’ve even had a chance to settle in, they tell you, ‘Hey you’re husband is being deployed,’” she said.