West Pines to continue legacy of behavioral healthcare in Westminster
West Pines Behavioral Health (now Hospital) has served the West Denver community and its residents needing behavioral health services for more than 30 years. Many patients have benefited from expert care and support through its inpatient programs, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs over the years. It has changed lives and given hope to those in need.
One such patient is Loren Wollet, who was given the support she needed to overcome a life of drug addiction that tore her family apart. Lauren came to West Pines while she was pregnant with her second daughter. She had already lost custody of her first child due to her drug use during pregnancy.
“Because of the pain and trauma of losing my daughter, I ended up taking opioids again,” Loren said. Still, she recognized that her next baby and her marriage were at risk unless she faced her addiction.
Loren checked into West Pines’ 10-day medically supervised detox program in September 2021. “It was four days before my birthday and it was a really tough time because I was pregnant and withdrawing,” she said.
While Loren was in detox, she was offered a 14-day residential program. There, she participated in art groups, therapy sessions and more. At the time, she was homeless. Her nurse found a bed for her at Aspen Miracle Center, a home for pregnant women in recovery. She went from West Pines to Aspen, where she stayed for 83 days.
Loren has remained sober since the day she checked in to West Pines. After giving birth to her second daughter in January 2022, she stayed on MAT (medication-assisted treatment) therapy to help curtail her drug cravings and is slowly tapering off them. Her daughter was born healthy and experienced no withdrawal symptoms. She now lives with her husband and daughter in an apartment.
Loren is grateful for the many facets of support she received throughout her recovery. “The people at West Pines genuinely wanted to help and did everything in their power to make sure I beat my addiction. Life has completely changed this past year and a half, and we are so blessed.”
Loren completed the training and certification to become a Mandatory Reporter for the Department of Human Services, which runs CPS. She is required by law to report any child abuse or neglect she witnesses. She now attends Lutheran’s Circle of Parents program weekly and remains close with Michelle, the West Pines recovery nurse advocate who helped her turn her life around.
Recently, Loren and her husband went to Lutheran to talk with the doctors and nurses about the stigma surrounding pregnant women with substance use disorders. She spoke on a panel in hopes of trying to get them to change the language with which they speak about the disease. They bravely shared their stories and answered questions and after, stopped by West Pines to introduce their daughter.
Loren shares her story to bring hope to other people struggling with substance use disorder and to inspire others to fight for themselves and get clean. She would like people to know that recovery is possible and that if she can do it while homeless and pregnant, and be successful, anyone can.
“Recovery is a struggle worth fighting every day to stay clean,” Loren adds. “My reward for getting and staying clean is being present for every smile, every laugh, and every milestone my daughter achieves. She is my superhero and my motivation to live a clean and sober life.”