Terre Haute-based Hamilton Center has been awarded state licenses to establish new opioid treatment programs in Hendricks and Knox counties.

The programs will be modeled after Western Indiana Recovery Services, launched last May in Terre Haute by the regional behavioral health system and Sagamore Medical Recovery Services.

“We will go anywhere to set up shop to make sure that we provide a service that will allow those individuals who are in need to have a productive life,” Melvin L. Burks, Hamilton Center CEO, said Wednesday at a news conference. 

Kevin Moore, director of the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions, said the state’s opioid crisis continues to grow.

“I’m not sure we’ve yet seen the crest of this, but right behind that crest will be the children and the families impacted by the opioid crisis that will continue to need addiction support,” Moore said.

Requests for proposals are pending for seven other licenses, Moore said.

Calling it “the gold standard” for helping opioid addicts, Moore said medication-assisted treatment needs to be available across the state, hopefully within an hour’s drive of every Hoosier.

Treatment involves the use of methadone to reduce the pain and length of withdrawal and block the euphoric effects of drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone as well as counseling to address physical, psychological and social components.

“Without treating all three aspects of the disease you don’t see the rates of recovery that everybody should be rooting for,” said Scott Burns, program director. 

Jessica Nevill, clinical director, said, “We’re rebuilding lives from the bottom up, learning the most basic of skills to keep individuals from relapsing.”

Group therapy is also included as a part of comprehensive treatment, she said.

Natasha Newcomb, acting director of Western Indiana Recovery Services, noted patients are screened to ensure they are appropriate for the program.

“Methadone is not for everybody with an opioid use disorder,” she said. “It does take commitment … the counseling is pretty rigorous.”

The new treatment programs are scheduled to be in operation on or before December 31. Site selection is underway. Hamilton Center has an existing facility in Plainfield to serve Hendricks County but does not have a location in Knox County.

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