Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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It is virtually impossible to overcome addiction on your own. You need support and guidance – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Pinnacle Treatment Centers want you to know they are there to help you create and maintain a clean and sober life.

Pinnacle’s mission is to “make recovery possible by transforming lives, communities and the families we serve with treatment that works. ” It envisions a better world where lives and communities are made whole again through its comprehensive treatment of people with substance use disorder.

Pinnacle has several locations in Kentucky as well as Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. All the facilities are certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

“Specifically for Kentucky, we have the complete levels of care,” said Dr. Chris Johnston, Pinnacle’s chief medical officer. “Pinnacle’s approach is to put treatment centers right where they’re needed the most. If you have an alcohol problem, you can come into one of our five residential programs. We cover all corners of the state.” are,” said Dr. Lori Ryland, Pinnacle’s chief clinical officer. “Dr. Johnston and I work very closely together to make sure the medical side and the clinical side not only contain the best practices but that staff throughout the organization


are consistent with the mission we’re building and, above all, that we’re treating each patient with dignity and respect. There are specific criteria used to determine where best to treat the patient. You take into account different aspects of that patient’s life and how likely they are to be effective.” For instance, a patient who has a supportive family, a job and is doing well may be managed very easily on an outpatient basis.

“Our goal is to make sure that treatment is available in the community where the patient lives and they can get access to that treatment as seamlessly as possible,” said Dr. Ryland. A 24-hour admissions center helps navigate patients into treatment quickly.

The full continuum of Pinnacle’s high-quality care includes detoxification for residential and outpatient clients as well as transitional living programs. Addiction affects people differently, and by gaining a deeper understanding of who you are, Pinnacle can design a treatment plan geared toward your particular needs. This intensive focus serves to disrupt the cycle of dependency and leads to positive outcomes for patients, families and communities.

“Our emphasis is providing treatment that works, so we are continuously implementing what is found to be most effective in the addiction treatment industry,” said Dr. Ryland. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University and also completed the Specialist Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse. She is a board-certified behavior analyst and a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor and supervisor with training in evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavior therapy. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including working with veterans with PTSD and people with persistent mental illness.

Dr. Johnston practiced family medicine for 25 years before he joined Pinnacle in 2011. “For the last eight years I’ve been full time in addiction medicine,” he said. “As much as I loved family medicine and seeing kids and getting to know families, I really love to see lives turn around in a matter of weeks. I feel I have saved way, way more lives in my eight years in addiction medicine than I ever did in all my years in family practice. It’s very rewarding.”

“I agree with Dr. Johnston. There is something about working in the addiction treatment area that is gratifying,” said Dr. Ryland. “A lot of really difficult issues come up, but you also see a lot of very promising change happening, and that keeps us focused and motivated on providing the best care.”


A customized treatment plan includes one-on-one counseling, group therapy, a 12-step program, life skills development, addiction education and mental health treatment. To begin treatment, a Pinnacle admissions counselor will meet the patient to answer their questions and explain services, fees and guidelines. Participation must be voluntary. Patients must be at least 18 years old.

“The immature mind reacts profoundly differently (to addictive substances) than the fully developed mind,” Dr. Johnston explained. “It has to do with the balance between the prefrontal cortex, the part of your mind that makes sensible choices, and the primitive part of your mind that seeks instant gratification.”

Addiction is primarily a young adulthood onset disease, but it can happen at any age. These days, more older patients are coming to Pinnacle for help with substance abuse problems.

“The geriatric age group is actually the highest group with sedative, hypnotic use,” Dr. Johnston said. “This population spends the most time at doctors’ offices. They’re being prescribed sedating medication and they wind up getting addicted to it.”

Treatment is generally covered by most insurance and Medicaid. Pinnacle offers full and partial private-pay options for those patients who are uninsured or underinsured.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in conjunction with therapy has proven to be the most successful treatment for opiate addiction. Pinnacle offers methadone, Suboxone® and Vivitrol to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and craving for opioids. Powerful and potentially addictive, methadone must be used with caution under the supervision of a licensed treatment center or physician.

“Methadone enables the brain to start to get involved in recovery activities,” Dr. Johnston said. “It (Recovery activities) strengthens that prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that helps you make good choices.”

Suboxone® (buprenorphine hydrochloride) also works to reduce addiction cravings and the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. It can be prescribed in a doctor’s office rather than a clinic.

“Methadone itself is just a medication,” Dr. Johnston said. “It’s something that enables the brain to work better so the patient can do all the other hard recovery activities they need to do. Treatment happens with the counselors and with the groups.”

“We provide several treatment modalities including behavioral interventions, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy,” said Dr. Ryland. “The goal is to not only provide treatment for some of the mental health issues that co-occur with addiction but also to improve the patient’s skills and the ability to handle life on life’s terms and to build a life worth living.”

In addition, Pinnacle incorporates various concepts of spirituality into therapy. “A lot of the evidence-based practices in addiction treatment include mindfulness components such as learning how to be present and not either worried about the future or stuck in the guilt and shame of the past,” Dr. Ryland said.

After detox, some patients receive Vivitrol (Naltrexone), which reduces cravings and prevents relapse.

“People who try to get off opioids and stay off have very high relapse rates,” Dr. Johnston said. “With medication, we see dramatically lower rates of relapse.”


A major component of Pinnacle’s success is the incorporation of families and friends into the treatment program. Substance abuse often takes an emotional and physical toll on loved ones. Pinnacle acknowledges the importance of these relationships and relies on the valuable insights into a patient’s life the people who know them best often bring to the table.

“Families bring an interesting layer to treatment because in many ways families are your best support for moving forward with a healthy life,” Dr. Ryland said. “There could be some family issues that could exacerbate the prognosis of a patient, so we incorporate not only family education around addiction but also support to families. Many of them are just worn out and they’re terrified they’re going to lose their loved one. They want to believe they’re doing everything they can to help their loved one.”

When treatment is complete, Pinnacle is still there to support former patients through an alumni program, called Pinnacle Fellowship. With this program, Pinnacle works with the patient to maximize recovery and minimize relapse.

“Pinnacle Fellowship recognizes the role of continued connection in successful outcomes,” said Dr. Ryland. “Therefore, we seek to reinforce the tools of long-term recovery for our alumni, family and friends by providing exceptional opportunities to connect, recharge, educate, advocate and give back to others in need of support.” The goal is to keep former clients connected and active in the recovery community.

“We’re helping them figure out what their future looks like,” Dr. Ryland said. “We want to make sure the patients understand they have a significant role in their own health care. We’re hoping to convey the importance of patient engagement and taking control of every aspect of your life – not only the healthy living aspect but becoming a good advocate for yourself and your health care. We want to make sure we’re addressing the whole person.

“The mission is about transforming lives,” she added. “As we are meeting the needs of the patients in our state, we’re continuously growing and seeking opportunities where we can be helpful to communities. We are working diligently in Kentucky to make a positive impact in combatting the opiate epidemic.”

If you’re ready to get help for your addiction problems, call 877-807-2797 or visit www.pinnacletreatment.com.


Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler