To the Editor:
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report outlining the spike in opioid deaths here in Indiana in 2017. The state saw more than 1,800 drug overdose deaths. And, Indiana was among the top four states that saw the biggest jump in overdoses. The good news is that there is help.
Bowen Center, the largest community mental health care services provider in the state, has offered Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in northern Indiana since 2016. Medication Assisted Treatment is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies for the treatment of Substance Use Disorders and can help people to sustain recovery.
Bowen Center outpatient locations in Allen, Huntington, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, Wabash and Whitley counties offer Food and Drug Administration approved medications for Opioid Use Disorder; Suboxone, Subutex and Vivitrol. Those medications assist individuals suffering with Opioid Use Disorder by removing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The freedom experienced from lifting those symptoms allows the patient to focus on rebuilding their life and experience improved health and wellbeing. This enables patients to return to work, school, and families with a renewed sense of self-worth as they regain a balanced life.
Last year Bowen Recovery Center opened in Fort Wayne to serve patients within a 100-mile radius using Methadone as the primary medical option to treat the physical symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder. Bowen Recovery Center will evaluate anyone seeking help for a Substance Use Disorder, without an appointment, 365 days a year. If they are not a fit for the Bowen Recovery Center program, they will be referred to other Bowen Center outpatient offices for another form of treatment, usually that same day.
Bowen Center has never turned anyone away. In 2018 alone, Bowen Center outpatient locations served more than 600 Medication Assisted Treatment patients. The center also assists patients with health insurance navigation and will usually enroll uninsured patients with presumptive eligibility and then assist them in completing their application for health insurance. Bowen Center accepts Medicaid and the Medicaid expansions. Most private insurance reimburses their clients for Opioid Treatment Program services. Bowen Center also helps patients obtain federal identification, food and housing assistance, and more when needed.
Our goal is to help those in the recovery process with dignity and compassion. As Hoosier families continue to seek assistance for Opioid and other Substance Use Disorders, Bowen Center will continue to increase our efforts to provide quality medical and behavioral health services to our communities.
Carolyn W. Greer, MS, MD, DABOG
Medical director for Bowen Recovery Center in Fort Wayne.