‘Groups: Recover Together’ opens local Greencastle branch
Nearly 1,400 Hoosiers were killed via drug overdose in 2016.
And at 548 more overdoses reported than 2008, the state has seen a 40-percent increase in drug-related deaths in less than a 10-year period.
With this in mind, and with a country-wide opioid epidemic currently affecting millions of addicts and non-users alike, a national drug-abuse recovery program called “Groups: Recover Together” has set its sights on assisting those struggling with addiction in the Greencastle area, offering services like assessments, various treatment plans and needle exchange programs, to name a few.
“Groups provides weekly group therapy, as well as medication-assisted treatment in the form of suboxone,” Clinic Coordinator Angelica Williams said of the for-profit, outpatient recovery organization spread across five states. “The patients we serve are usually suffering from opioid addiction -- that’s our main focus.
“With that said, we don’t dispense any medicine on site, and we don’t take cash,” she added.
Judy Medsker, a veteran in addiction counseling who has decades of experience throughout the state, is a substance abuse counselor at the Greencastle location alongside Williams, completing the two-person duo currently managing the Greencastle location, one of two in west-central Indiana.
Asked of those who may look to abuse the program, Medsker said “we only offer 16 milligrams as the highest dose.”
“Anything above that will not help,” she said. “And with the (urine screens) we are able to see if they are actually taking the suboxone. If they’re not, then we have a discussion about why they aren’t taking it and consider possible discharge because, if they don’t need it, but they also don’t want to go through withdrawals, then there’s something else going on.”
Medsker went on to say that prescriptions written for suboxone are only good for seven days and that, if a patient wishes to continue using suboxone for withdrawal treament, they must attend group therapy each week. A physician also makes monthly visits to therapy sessions, and patients are able to arrange appointments with the physician, allowing them to consult with the medical professional twice each month free of charge.
“We treat people like people, not a number,” Williams said, citing the relatively affordable $65-75 weekly cost of the program. “We will never charge for anything except the weekly fee and the cost of medication.”
Though Groups specializes in opioid addiction, it can treat others, as well.
All programs offered at the Greencastle location run between 18 and 24 months, and provided data shows 85 percent of all patients completely abstinant from drug use at six months, as indicated by urine screens, while 95 percent still attend regularly in the same time period.
Williams and Medsker said the organization is based on a five-pillar model developed by doctors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire -- personal transformation, medical science, purpose, community and accountability.
“This is a younger company. We’ve been around for three years now and approaching Indiana’s first full year,” Williams said. “Being a young company, technology and staying up to date is very important to us so, again, we are at the top teir of medical science here.”
Services provided by Groups are:
• Initial assessment by substance abuse counselor or medical doctor
• Formulation of treatment plans
• Outpatient medication-assisted treatment
• Medication management for withdrawal symptoms
• Monthly appointments with a physician compliant with Drug Enforcement Administration
• Random pill counts and urine screenings in addition to weekly screening
Group Therapy and Counselor Services
• Weekly group therapy sessions
• Quarterly assessments
• Family group counseling
• Case management
Patient Support Services
• Prior authorizations
• Liaise with local government state agences
• Care coordination
• Needle exchange programs
For more information about Groups: Recover Together, visit joingroups.com or call 800-683-8313 (to schedule a consultation or visit the Greencastle location at 110 S. Indiana St. (north-facing basement entry of First Christian Church).