GLEN DALE, W.Va. (WTRF) — Too often, addiction is silent.

Not only to those around the person in its grip…but even to the person themselves.

It’s often discussed through the tragic and growing numbers who succumb to it every year.

But there are many more who live and suffer through it day after day…and Reynolds Memorial Hospital sees its physical and psychological toll.

Sometimes I get 70-year-old guys who drank their whole life and they don’t see it as a problem.

Brea Saeger, Peer Recovery Coach

Saeger is a key part of a new system-wide screening program called Reverse the Cycle.

When a patient steps into the emergency department for any reason, they undergo a screening for drug and alcohol dependency.

They’re asked if they use, how much they use, and how often they use—with the highest-scoring patients automatically referred to Saeger as a peer recovery coach.

She looks at her role as something of a mirror so they can see their potentially destructive behaviors.

They’re like, ‘oh, well maybe I can cut back to however many beers a day instead of drinking a 14-pack when I get off work.’

Brea Saeger, Peer Recovery Coach

And Reynolds is particularly successful with it.

They’ve analyzed 92 percent of their patients—well past WVU Medicine’s goal of three-quarters.

Some may not yet be ready to quit, but we tell them ‘when you are ready, we’ll be here.’

Ben Lasure, Emergency Department Medical Director

And while some shy away from detoxing, they say most are prepared to put their demons behind them.

It’s particularly meaningful for Saeger, who successfully navigated through addiction herself…and says the distance between desperation and healing is just a few words of compassion.

If somebody would have stopped me in an ED somewhere before I got sober and was like, ‘hey, you have a problem and you need help,’ like maybe I would have thought about it.

Brea Saeger, Peer Recovery Coach