The Addiction Epidemic - The Healing Place The Addiction Epidemic - The Healing Place

The Addiction Epidemic

By: Heather Gibson, Vice President of Program Services

The addiction epidemic continues to have Louisville, Kentucky, and the rest of the nation in its grip. The expansion of our men’s campus was a direct response to not being able to meet the needs of our community.

As the heroin and opioid crisis reached its peak in 2014-2018, we were regularly turning away 200 to 300 men every month from our detox unit because there just weren’t enough beds. In January 2017, that number hit 497. These are men who were struggling with addiction and reaching out for help. They slept in the alley behind our detox waiting for a bed… or returned to the madness. Some of them made it back. Others did not.

The expansion of our men’s campus allowed us to more than double the number of detox beds available. Since the new acute detox opened in mid-March, we have not had to turn anyone away because of a lack of space..

We have very few barriers for those seeking help at The Healing Place. Our detox and long-term recovery services are offered at no cost to the client. That’s one of the reasons there is such a high demand.

In 2018, 4,311 individuals received help in one of our detox units. With 2,730 men and women served in the first six months of 2019, we’re on track to far surpass last year’s numbers.

Guess what? It’s not just heroin. Meth is on the rise, heroin is on the decline, while alcohol remains a constant.

When a client checks into detox, we ask them to identify their primary drug of addiction. At the men’s campus, meth is at the top followed by alcohol. Heroin ranks third. At the women’s campus, heroin is still first, but not by much. In the first six months of 2019, the number of clients identifying meth as their primary drug of addiction has increased 45% compared to the same time last year.

The drugs change, but the disease of addiction does not. That is why our program focuses on the individual and their behavior, not a particular drug. It’s a formula that has worked for 30 years.

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