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Recovery program moves to larger location

Counselor Debra Phillips, Officer Coordinator Shelby Favorite, Counselor Spring Brown and Regional Manager Joe Henry of Groups Recover Together welcome new and current clients to their location in Cherry Hill Park, 2508 Western Ave. Suite D.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

A group therapy program for people trying to break opioid addiction has a new, larger location after growing here since 2017.

Groups Recover Together provides group counseling and medication to treat opiate addiction. About 170-175 people are involved. The program has moved to Suite D in Cherry Hill Park office complex, 2508 Western Ave.

Each client must attend an hour-long group session and take a drug screen each week, Joe Henry, Groups regional manager, said. Doctors or nurse practitioners contracted with Groups meet with each group once a month. The expanded space allows for two group meetings at the same time.

The medical professionals are involved in medication management. Groups uses Suboxone and Naltrexone, a drug that blocks the desire for opiates.

Counselors also meet with one-on-one with clients and provides 24-hour-a-day crisis support. 

The new location is better for many of the clients who walk to treatment, Shelby Favorite, office coordinator, said. 

Groups will accept only clients involved in opioid addiction at the current time. Henry said the program has some clients who are addicted to methamphetamine but started on heroin.

To prevent clients from selling the Suboxone, each is provided only a week’s supply, Favorite said.

Because the clients have a drug screen each week, they must test positive for Suboxone or the counselors know the clients are doing something else with it, Henry said. Additionally, 15 percent of the clients are called to come in to the office in-between each regular session. They must bring their medication; the pills are counted and the clients get an additional drug screen.

“The majority of our folks appreciate that because they know how important the program is for them and they don’t want people using it the wrong way,” he said.

The goal is to have people tapered off Suboxone within 24-36 months. Favorite said one well-motivated man completed the program in less than a year.

Counselor Spring Browne said the program has referred people to North Star Recovery Center at Fayette Regional Health System. She monitors them and they return to the program after detox. Clients can also be referred to other programs.

The program costs about $65 a week plus the cost of medications at a pharmacy, Favorite said. It is self-pay , so clients must want to be in the program and want it to work.

The program accepts some insurance coverages, Henry said. 

Groups would like to work with employers and staffing agencies to get the people in the program back to work, he said.

Graduates of the program can come to the weekly programs at no cost to continue their success, she added.

“We recognize addiction and going through recovery is not a ‘one size fits all’ with the same thing for every person,” Henry said. “It will be different for every person. We don’t discourage anyone from pursuing any avenue that helps them in their recovery, even if that’s not through us. We’re willing to help them find the right fit.”

Groups Recover Together opened in the Whitewater Trade Center. Nationally, it started in Maine and New Hampshire about four years ago. Groups operates in eight states, including 25 locations in Indiana.