GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Prisma Health doctors believe a new Addiction Medicine Center will help address substance use and abuse in the community.

“We really are working to develop and evaluate new models of addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery in order to transform care,” said Alain Litwin, the executive director for the center.

Doctors said this new center will help transform care for patients who are struggling with substance use through a variety of programs. Experts said substance use is a growing issue, across South Carolina and in the Upstate.

“Substance use disorder is a problem here in Greenville County,” said Jessica Owens, the chief operating officer at the Phoenix Center, which offers treatment and recovery services. “About 1 in 8 families is having some type of issue with substance use in their home.”

The Addiction Medicine Center will offer programs like in and outpatient services, on-site counseling and psychiatry, education for prescribers and more.

“Our overall goal at Prisma Health is really to engage a person living with substance use disorders or opioid use disorders whenever they engage with the healthcare systems,” said Litwin.

Leaders at The Phoenix Center said this is an important step in connecting patients to resources.

“Screening is always important. When most of us go to the doctor, we do get a set of questions related to depression, anxiety, and it’s just as important that our primary care physicians and hospitalists are screening us for substance use disorder as well,” said Owens.

Litwin also said they partner with universities and local treatment groups. He said providing patients with the best care is a joint effort.

“We do this obviously in collaboration with partners, nothing all alone. Whether it’s patients or families, or organizations like Favor Upstate or Phoenix Center or Clemson,” said Litwin.

He encourages people, who may be struggling with substance use disorder to reach out and seek help.

“We are here to help and surround you with support and with love, and to know that life can change,” said Litwin.

The Addiction Medicine Center will help patients in both the Upstate and Midlands. It’s primary offices are located on the Greenville Memorial campus. People can also call 864-455-5994 to access recovery program resources and services.  

Leaders at The Phoenix Center said if people or a family member are struggling with substance use, they can receive free Narcan, an overdose reversal medication. People can reach the Phoenix Center at 864-467-3790.