Addiction counseling crucial to Southeastern Indiana HIV outbreak response

Addiction counseling crucial to HIV outbreak response
Addiction counseling crucial to HIV outbreak response | Courtesy of
Health professionals state that addiction treatment services are a crucial component of responding to the recent HIV outbreak in Southeastern Indiana.

LifeSpring Mental Health Services has worked alongside the Indiana State Department of Health since the outbreak began. LifeSpring, the state-designated Community Health Center for the Scott County area, offers mental health services including prevention, assessment, education, information, treatment and intervention.

“The availability of substance abuse treatment is critical to stopping the spread of HIV and helping people get their lives back on track in Southeastern Indiana,” State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said. "Each person has to decide on his or her own to seek treatment, but it's our job to ensure that services are available when they are ready." 

This week, LifeSpring reported 22 clients started inpatient care in 2015, a noticeable increase for the area. In 2014, LifeSpring reported 16 clients began inpatient treatment. LifeSpring staff reported all 22 people requesting inpatient treatment have received scheduled start dates.

“We know that treatment works, but it’s important to stress that treatment doesn't have to look the same from everyone,” Beth Keeney, vice president of development and grants with LifeSpring Health Systems said. “We've heard repeatedly that people are nervous about inpatient treatment, which isn't the only option. If anyone is even thinking about treatment, we’d like to encourage them to call us, meet us and discuss what program would be the best fit for them.”

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