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Inside Plainfield’s new opioid treatment center

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The coronavirus pandemic is anything but easy for Hoosiers struggling with addiction.

“We’ve seen an increase in overdose events in our emergency departments and also in emergency medical services administering naloxone in overdose events,” said Douglas Huntsinger, the executive director for drug prevention, Treatment & Enforcement for Indiana.

On Friday, the Hamilton Center, a community mental health center, cut the ribbon on a $500,000 state-licensed opioid treatment clinic inside a Plainfield shopping center. CEO Melvin Burks told News 8 there’s a need in that part of central Indiana.

“What we try to do is make those individuals who are struggling and have these challenges, to have a quality of life, to keep working at it,” Burks said.

The almost 6,000-square-foot clinic will comprehensively treat adults who struggle with addiction to heroin or other opioids, including prescription pain medications. That treatment will include case management, individual and group therapy, and providing patients with strictly controlled doses of a medication called methadone.

“This is a chemical replacement for the illicit opiates they’re using. The rationale behind it is these individuals suffer from a chemical dependency. If you can replace that in a safe, structured environment, it enables them to not have to use illicit substances — heroin, fentanyl, Oxycodone, etc. — on the street,” said Dr. Christian Shaw, the center’s medical director.

Everything at the center will be tightly regulated and controlled. This is the 22nd opioid treatment program to open in the state. Gov. Eric Holcomb and state lawmakers have pushed to expand treatment centers across the state.

“Our goal is to have everyone within an hour’s drive, and this center is really going to help us begin to meet that goal. We’ve got a few more centers to go, but this is really exciting,” Huntsinger said.

Because there is hope, and there is help.

A spokesperson for Hamilton Center Inc. told News 8 that the Plainfield treatment center expects certification from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency any day now. They plan on seeing patients next week.

Indiana’s Next Level Recovery program

  • Call 211 for help 24/7 or click here to go to Connect2Help.
  • Call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit here to chat live with a representative.
  • Through a partnership between Indiana 211 and OpenBeds, people seeking treatment for substance use disorder can be immediately connected with available inpatient or residential treatment services.
  • The Indiana Recovery Network also has extensive available resources.

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