Substance use disorders affect many communities, families and individuals.

They are relatively common and can affect any person regardless of his or her age, sex, occupation or ethnic background. Substance use disorders occur when the use of alcohol or drugs causes significant impairment such as health problems, disability and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 8 percent of Americans ages 12 and older were diagnosed with a substance use disorder in 2013. Of those, 12 percent had problems with both alcohol and drugs, 21 percent had problems with drugs but not alcohol, and 66 percent had problems with alcohol only.

Despite this prevalence, support and treatment, resources can be limited or difficult to access because of many factors, including stigma, fear and lack of awareness of signs and symptoms.

HopeHealth is working to increase access and reduce barriers to care by providing more points of access for treatment, counseling services and case managers who can help:

  • Keep patients engaged in their own care.
  • Address socioeconomic barriers that might impede recovery or contribute to relapse.
  • Connect patients to services.
  • Ensure recovery is sustainable.

Because substance use disorders are chronic conditions and there is a high risk for relapse, a patient’s road to recovery begins with an initial evaluation, induction and stabilization phase of treatment. The recently expanded Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program includes medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction at the Behavioral Health Services office on Palmetto Street in Florence. Care is integrated with primary care and across other HopeHealth services, including:

  • The increasing availability of complementary services such as pain management and behavioral health services at select HopeHealth locations.
  • Certified treatment prescribers authorized to treat substance use disorders with medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) and naltrexone (Vivitrol) in the HopeHealth Pain Center at the Medical Plaza in Florence.
  • Psychosocial services with licensed counselors certified in addictions treatment, trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy and treatment for compulsive gambling, smoking cessation, anger management and more. Services are provided in individual, group, couples and family sessions.

The Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program is open to referrals from within HopeHealth as well as directly from the community. For more information or to inquire about services, call 843-432-3690.

Farrah Hughes, Ph.D., is the director of behavioral health services at HopeHealth and the mother of a child with autism. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Collaborative Family Healthcare Association and the Society for Couple and Family.