Eskenazi Health Provides Innovative Approach to Reducing Opioid Dependence, Substance Abuse Disorders

With increasing concern regarding the number of deaths related to drug overdose and opioid dependence in Indiana, Eskenazi Health has mobilized its leadership team, addiction psychiatrists, licensed addiction counselors and other professionals to develop and implement a plan of action to help combat this disturbing trend for Hoosiers. A significant piece of this solution lies in the evidenced-based addiction treatment services offered as part of Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center.

Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, which services nearly 649,000 outpatient visits and 1,200 inpatient admissions each year, provides addiction treatment services to clients in all of its programs and primary care settings. Each client who is served by Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center begins with a comprehensive assessment that includes screening for problematic substance use. For many clients, this gives Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center staff the opportunity to provide information and education on the physical and psychological effects of problem substance use. However, some clients require more robust intervention to treat their substance abuse issues. For those clients, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center offers intensive substance abuse treatment programs that provide comprehensive, evidence-based treatment methods to combat the disease of addiction.

The Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center Narcotics Treatment Program (NTP) is one of Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center’s outpatient specialty substance abuse centers providing addiction treatment to clients with opioid dependence. Current research indicates that comprehensive addiction treatment is most effective when combining talk therapies with medication-assisted treatment. As a result, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center NTP employs a program combining the use of methadone in combination with individual, group and family therapy.

The Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center NTP treatment team consists of an addiction psychiatrist, nurses, licensed and certified addiction counselors, and case managers all working in conjunction to stabilize the patient’s illness and work toward recovery. For women who are pregnant and dependent upon opioids, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center NTP offers comprehensive mental health services, creative arts programs, and many other methods designed to treat addiction and move toward a goal of increased health and wellness.

Over the past year, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center NTP has provided care to more than 1,000 clients. Within the first 90 days of treatment, more than 50 percent of clients see a decrease in symptoms, along with an increase in employment, housing stability and financial resources. After one year of treatment, more than 75 percent of clients report stable employment and housing, a significant reduction in mental health and addiction symptoms, and reconnection with their family and other positive social supports.

The Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center Adult Addictions Clinic is another outpatient specialty substance abuse center providing treatment for a wide range of substance use disorders, including dependence on alcohol, cocaine, opioids, marijuana and nicotine. The clinic also provides specialized treatment for clients with problem gambling. Additionally, 85 percent of the clients in this clinic are dually diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Current best practices report that significantly improved treatment outcomes can be achieved for clients with substance use disorders when programs treat both the client’s addiction and mental health needs. As a result, the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center Adult Addictions Clinic has developed a fully integrated, dual-diagnosis program to concurrently treat both clients’ addiction needs as well as their mental health concerns. The multidisciplinary team consists of addiction psychiatrists, nursing staff, licensed mental health and addiction clinicians, and care coordinators. This team provides individual, group and family treatment along with innovative medications that can manage clients’ mental health needs and support recovery.

Over the past year, the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center Adult Addictions Clinic has provided outreach and education to more than 2,000 clients and intensive addition and mental health treatment to more than 750 clients. Since developing the comprehensive, dual-diagnosis treatment program to address clients’ mental health and addiction needs, clients have achieved a greater degree of stability in symptoms along with a 43 percent reduction in inpatient and crisis services.

In continuing efforts to advance treatment options for its clients, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center has opened an exciting new Addictions Treatment Clinic based at the new Eskenazi Health West 38th Street to assist clients in brief treatment for their addictions needs. This center is designed to develop greater partnership with primary care physicians who are assessing and treating clients’ addiction needs. Addiction psychiatrists and licensed mental health and addiction counselors are mobilized to provide consultation with primary care staff as well as provide same-day linkage for clients in need of a greater level of addiction treatment. Clients connected to this clinic receive short-term, evidence-based individual and group therapy along with medications that assist in treatment of their mental health and addiction needs.

Together with other Eskenazi Health programs and services, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center is committed to ending dependency on opioids and other dangerous substances throughout Marion County.