Dr. Sarah Wakefield, M.D., and Associate Professor and Chair for the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, interviewed on KLBK Bright & Early about the new chemical dependency intensive outpatient clinic.
Texas Tech Physicians partnered with Covenant Health to open the clinic free to the community.
For those struggling with chemical dependency, making a step towards treatment can be
challenging and often filled with uncertainty. Texas Tech Physicians Psychiatry has
partnered with Covenant Health to offer a new Chemical Dependency Intensive
Outpatient Clinic (IOP).
IOP is a substance use disorder treatment program appropriate for those who are not in
need of medically-supervised detox or residential level care. Dr. Wakefield is also the director of the IOP clinic, said with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, there is a crucial need for mental health care and clinics such as this. Wakefield said this pandemic has brought increased frustrations that are causing more stress and anxiety and for many people a resurgence of
excessive drinking issues and other addictions.
“Studies have found that people in drug and alcohol recovery are more likely to relapse
following crises and the coronavirus pandemic is a disruptive situation,” Wakefield said.
“The fourth wave (mental health needs) starts as soon as the pandemic hits and it doesn’t
come back down until long after the pandemic ends. The mental health response starts
immediately and just grows and grows for a long time for many reasons. This clinic is
here to provide treatment and resources for our community.”
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and prescription medications
affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. According to the World Health
Organization, 31 million people suffer from drug use disorders.
“This clinic could not have opened at a better time,” Covenant Children’s CEO Amy
Thompson, M.D., said. “Many in our community suffer from these kinds of addictions,
and we need to provide the resources for them to get help. We are proud to partner with
Texas Tech Physicians on this initiative.”
The program, which offers care to individuals who are unfunded or underfunded,
provides a comprehensive, 16-week program that follows a decreasing intensity model.
The program is open to adults, ages 18 and older, whose primary diagnosis is a substance
use disorder. IOP groups are offered in the evening to allow participants to take care of
their work responsibilities during the day.
This level of care allows the individual to be part of the recovery program on a part-time
yet intensive schedule designed to accommodate work and family life. With this program,
a person can participate while living at home while addressing family, career or
educational issues during recovery.
The IOP uses the Matrix Model, a comprehensive multi-format program that covers six
key clinical areas:
• Individual/Conjoint therapy
• Early recovery
• Relapse prevention
• Family education
• Social support
• Urine testing
The clinic, located at 4000 22nd Place, is for those who are new to recovery and would
prefer not to enter an inpatient facility for an extended period of time. For more
information, call (806) 725-7145.
(Press release provided by TTU.)