GEORGETOWN, Ky. — It’s no secret that Kentucky has a serious substance abuse problem. The commonwealth is among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related deaths; in 2017, nearly 1,500 Kentucky residents died from drug overdoses.
There is hope for those with substance use disorders, but many do not seek help or are discouraged by the costs associated with treatment.
Nick Davis, a licensed clinical drug and alcohol counselor from Central Kentucky, has developed a simple but profound way to knock down some of the barriers to treatment faced by Kentuckians suffering with substance use disorders. He’s offering mental health services – including individual counseling and outpatient groups – at no cost to clients.
“I will not bill anyone,” Davis said. “Insurance is confusing to navigate for clients and it makes getting paid difficult for counselors as well. Also, insurance companies won’t approve some treatments even if the client and therapist agree it would help. I want to keep insurance companies out of the therapeutic alliance.”
It almost sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t, Davis said. He is meeting with local and state government representatives and has applied for multiple grants to fund his non-profit counseling center, Anew Alternative, which provides substance use, career and mental health counseling services. He has also launched a GoFundMe campaign. The center currently operates as a mobile unit while funds are raised to establish a brick-and-mortar location. It’s convenient for his Central Kentucky clients, and it’s cost efficient.
“Mental health counseling shouldn’t be a profit-based business,” Davis said. “We realize that all one needs is an office space and a counselor.”
The lack of fees isn’t the only unique thing about Davis’ treatment model. Anew Alternative presents a “whole person” approach to substance use counseling, instead of a cookie-cutter plan for everyone that overall results in a low, long-term recovery success rate.
Davis tries to help his clients find personal purpose and meaning, which he says is vital to longterm recovery. Using evidence-based treatment methods, Davis works with clients to establish an individualized plan that will include treating trauma and other related co-occurring issues, combating stigma and establishing a sense of worth.
“We help clients set goals that are right for them and tailor our services to the individual,” he said. “Every client is given an opportunity to participate in their own treatment and is encouraged to use the treatment process to discover their purpose.”
Employment readiness is a core component of the center’s framework.
“A very high correlation has been proven between gainful employment and long-term success in recovery. We plan to help people struggling with substance use obtain gainful jobs, relationships and lives,” Davis said.
To learn more about Anew Alterntative, visit anewalternative.org or facebook.com/anewalternative. To donate to the center, email [email protected] or visit the center’s GoFundMe page at bit.ly/2F9Vt9Y.