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At Adult and Child Health, which works with families in need of behavioral health care services, workers know finding a spot for someone needing inpatient care is going to be difficult, requiring them to call multiple centers looking for an opening, Elsner said.

Addiction can rewire the way the brain processes pleasure, and in the case of opioid addiction, the drug becomes the only source of relief or pleasure. Breaking that reaction requires extensive, long-term treatment, often starting with a residential detoxification program and followed up with counseling and therapy for years afterwards.

Valle Vista Health System in Greenwood has space for 72 people for inpatient treatment for mental health and addiction services. A patient who is going through detoxification has to meet specific guidelines showing that medical care is needed during that process, said Kristin Fettig, director of business development.

About 40 percent of their patients are suffering from an opioid addiction, and most often those are people who were prescribed pain medication after an injury or surgery and then began using street drugs when their prescription ran out, she said.

Tara Treatment Center, founded in 1985, provides detox, residential and outpatient treatment options for those struggling with addiction. Outpatient options range from an eight-hour education program providing information on drug abuse and dependency to once-weekly group services to more intensive three-time-per-week counseling.

Tara’s approach to residential addiction recovery includes a daily regiment of group therapy, education and 12-step programs. Clients learn about relapse prevention, and do activities such as art therapy and yoga. They do not leave, staying on the Tara campus for between 30 and 42 days.

Tara is contracted with Indiana Department of Child Services offices in counties throughout the state to provide treatment services. The state will pay for 21 days of residential treatment, and people from around Indiana come to the center, Parker said. Women — and some men — are referred to Tara when outpatient recovery has not worked.

“There have always been challenges and barriers to getting treatment, no matter what their drug of choice is. With the opiates, though, there seems to be more of a need for a residential or inpatient level of care than there seems to be maintained with an outpatient level,” she said. “There has always been a need for people to get services, but it seems to be a little more challenging now.”

With the influx of clients struggling with opioid addiction, Tara has set aside staff and resources to approach the unique aspects of that recovery, Parker said. Separate group sessions allow people to work through the issues unique to opioid addiction without the shame that can exist around that drug use.

“They specifically focus on the cravings, the relapse, the risks of overdose and what that looks like,” Parker said. “People felt kind of a stigma of being an IV heroin user, so when they were in groups with traditional alcoholics or people with other issues, they didn’t seem to be as comfortable. We wanted to provide them with a setting to talk about whatever they wanted to say without judgment.”

Most often, their clients are addicted to methamphetamine or opioids. The program offers multiple services, including intensive outpatient therapy that meets multiple times a week, to reintegration programs, meant to help people return to their community and find work and other resources that will help them stay sober, said Katie Smith, Centerstone Greenwood coordinator.

Centerstone officials would also like to see more transitional housing for people coming from a recovery or treatment center, which can sometimes be impossible to find in Johnson County, leading to wait lists of six months or more, Fillmore said.

The agency has recovery centers across Indiana and is getting ready to add space for patients in Columbus, Bloomington and Richmond. The program will help people find transportation, but that sometimes still is too far for local residents who want help, she said.