This week, a drug and alcohol rehab center based in Jackson, Mississippi moved to another location within the city to improve access to addiction services and reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders.
The drug and alcohol rehab center, Pathway Healthcare, officially relocated its services to the Baptist Medical Center, on Tuesday, May 29. Mississippi’s Gov. Phil Bryant and other political figures such as former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum were present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the official move of the addiction treatment center.
The Chief Medical Officer of Pathway Healthcare, Dr. Brent Boyett explained that the move is of crucial importance because it will reduce the stigma that keeps many people who have substance use disorders from seeking addiction treatment in traditional drug rehab centers and/or programs.
Scott Olson, the CEO of Pathway Healthcare, agreed with Boyett and added that the relocation of the drug and alcohol rehab center to a hospital setting is also going to help take addiction medicine to a mainstream level, which will assist the people who need help become more comfortable with seeking services.
A report released by the Mississippi State Department of Health last month revealed that increased access to addiction treatment is needed not only in Jackson but across the entire state.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are approximately 121,000 people in Mississippi who need access to addiction treatment services. However, the state has a total of 665 beds across 39 inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment facilities that have been certified by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
Representatives of the federal agencies highlight that the aforementioned numbers explain why Mississippians in need of addiction treatment are continuously forced to wait months for an open bed.
SAMHSA also emphasizes that an increase in the number of available beds for people with substance use disorders in Mississippi could prompt a significant public health improvement.
Furthermore, statistics from the Department of Mental Health revealed that opioids are associated with the majority of the addiction treatment admissions and cases of substance use disorders in the state —more than 55 percent (1,292) of the patients, who received substance use disorder treatment services in Mississippi listed an opioid as their primary drug of choice as of January 2017.
The programs offered by Pathway Healthcare are primarily focused on treating people who have opioid use disorders, but rehabilitation and recovery services for individuals with other chemical dependencies are also available.
The addiction treatment center strictly offers outpatient programs to assist the patients, who are required to meet with the specialists on a regular basis.
Pathway Healthcare prioritizes proprietary medication-assisted treatment programs for the patients who need help with an opioid addiction, but each person with a substance use disorder that arrives at the center will first be assessed to get a tailored program, encompassing counseling, to match their needs.
The representatives of the drug and alcohol rehab center stated that they have been and will continue to work aggressively to boost the availability of addiction treatment services throughout the state as well as the nation.