As the pandemic swept the country last year, the CDC reported that increasing stress and isolation had led to increased substance abuse among some. Today, a new treatment center at Holy Cross Hospital is helping Chicagoans on the Southwest side overcome substance abuse disorders.
The Sinai Chicago Center for Addiction Treatment and Recovery at Holy Cross Hospital, 2701 W. 68th St., opened June 1 in partnership with US Healthvest. It has already treated more than 85 patients, said the center’s program director, Kara Moonan.
Holy Cross Hospital President Donnica Austin-Cathey said the hospital’s community health needs assessment found substance abuse to be among the top five community health issues facing neighborhoods that he serves.
“The communities that Sinai Chicago serves on the southwest and west sides of Chicago face significantly higher levels of substance abuse and addiction than any other location in the city,” she said at a ceremony. inauguration on Wednesday.
Although the city’s annual opioid report won’t be released until later this week, the city has seen an increase in opioid abuse during COVID-19, said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. Chicago Public Health.
“COVID-19 wasn’t just about COVID. Between January and June 2021 alone, we had over 5,500 opioid-related ambulance responses across Chicago,” Arwady said. “Last year, in 2020, more than 1,300 Chicagoans lost their lives due to opioid overdoses.”
The new center will serve as an inpatient unit on the fourth floor of the hospital. Treatment begins with patients going through acute medical detoxification under the supervision of nurses, doctors and psychiatrists.
Then, patients receive treatment from licensed social workers, licensed counselors, patient care technicians, and certified alcohol and drug counselors.
Moonan said most patients receive hospital treatment for three to five days, but during this time each patient is treated individually rather than group treatment.
Once patients leave hospital care, they are set up with follow-up.
“With addictions, it’s really hard because there’s a lot of relapses,” Moonan said, “but I think providing them with an aftercare program and following up with them will really lead to positive results.”
The center accepts both walk-ins and appointments. People without an appointment must arrive at the emergency room. Services in English and Spanish are available.
Cheyanne M. Daniels is a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for Americaa non-profit journalism program that aims to strengthen the newspaper’s coverage of communities on the South and West Sides.