Holcomb announces new expansion plan to opioid treatment program

NOW: Holcomb announces new expansion plan to opioid treatment program

Governor Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday morning that the state is set to expand it’s opioid treatment program.

The state plans to open five new opioid treatment centers in the following counties: Allen, Johnson, Monroe, Tippecanoe, and Vigo. They are all set to open in June 2018, according to Kurt Carlson, CEO of The Bowen Center.

“They’ll get on and stay on their road to recovery,” said Gov. Holcomb.

This expansion allows for people seeking treatment the opportunity to do it closer to home, Gov. Holcomb said. There are currently fourteen opioid treatment programs up and running in Indiana.

Since 2000, the governor says drug overdose deaths have increased by 500%. According to the governor, Indiana is ranked number 15 in the nation for drug overdose deaths.

“This would hopefully help them get their lives back under control,” said Carlson.

Carlson has been the CEO at The Bowen Center since 1989 and he said he’s seen first-hand how drug abuse takes over a life.

He said he’s also seen how most of his clients at the center have paid out of pocket for their treatment. Almost 80 percent of The Bowen Center clients are on Medicaid, he said. And while, Carlson said it’s a reasonable price, he also said there’s definitely a difference in the types of clients.

“Essentially the individuals who can afford it have a lot of choices in life,” said Carlson. “People who don’t and have Medicaid, they don’t have nearly as many choices.

Starting Aug. 1, people covered with Healthy Indiana Plan and most Medicaid users can walk into any of the 19 opioid treatment centers and receive services with no charge.

“We’re helping a lot of people in very much in need of service,” Carlson said.

The expansion is scheduled to be up and running by June 2018.

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