CONCERNED FOR YOURSELF OR A COLLEAGUE?
OLAP receives about 60 new inquiries each month. We get calls/referrals from colleagues, judges, disciplinary counsel, certified grievance committees, admissions committees, defense counsel, spouses, children, law school administrators and professors, and the occasional client. Concerns raised include drinking, illegal and prescription drugs, internet porn, sexual compulsion disorder, gambling, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, anorexia and bulimia, adult attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder...you name it, it affects our profession. We generally require corroborating information on a new client before doing anything. If we do not obtain corroboration, we do not move forward to intervene—we open a confidential file and wait.
Once we have established a relationship with a client, the real work begins. We meet with each client individually to diagnose what is going on. We conduct a full confidential substance abuse and mental health assessment which usually takes two-three hours.
After each assessment, our staff will give recommendations to the client to help them head in a better direction. We are trying to find out what is going on (diagnosis), and what needs to be done (drug/alcohol treatment, medical evaluation, psychiatric evaluation, psychological therapy, etc.).
MONITORING & SUPPORT
We encourage the person to sign a Recovery Contract with us for a minimum of two years, and up to five years. The contract requires the client to do whatever it takes to get moving in the right direction. For alcohol/drugs, this can be inpatient or outpatient treatment, and 12-Step recovery meetings. For mental illness, this can mean evaluation by a psychiatrist, taking prescribed medications, and individual counseling. We also require telephone contact with us, often daily early on, and then as the client improves, it can be reduced to one or two times per week. Whatever the requirements, the client is required to document what he/she is doing, by providing written verification of attendance at 12-Step meetings, regular reports from therapists, etc.
SUPPORT FOR THOSE CONCERNED
We are also here for those of you concerned about an attorney in trouble. We will help you find the services you need to cope with the stress of dealing with a loved one in distress.
Where we have corroboration, we often will set up and facilitate an intervention. Sometimes we provide information to the caller on how to approach the troubled person, and that results in a call from a new client.
We give close to 50 CLE Presentations each year, reaching an estimate live audience approaching 5,000. We also speak at all the Ohio law schools, providing information at first year orientations and professional responsibility classes. We speak not only about substance abuse/chemical dependency, but also mental health issues affecting the profession.