Emory Healthcare and Hazelden Betty Ford Partner to Create Addiction Alliance of Georgia

Date: Oct 23, 2020

Emory Healthcare has joined forces with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation — the nation’s leading source of hope and healing for people, families and communities affected by substance use disorders — to create the Addiction Alliance of Georgia.

The disease of addiction to alcohol, opioids and other drugs is a national epidemic with devastating effects on communities across the country. More than 21 million Americans have a substance use disorder. And according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, deaths from opioid use alone increased by 245 percent across the state between 2010 and 2017. Additionally, overdoses are rising further now amid the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. One analysis shows a 13% increase in drug-related deaths nationwide during the first half of 2020.

Watch an interview with Dr. Justine Welsh, Director of Addiction Services at Emory Healthcare, and Dr. Marvin Seppala, Chief Medical Officer at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, as they discuss opioid use during the COVID-19 pandemic and the creation of the Addiction Alliance of Georgia.

Vision for the Addiction Alliance of Georgia

Utilizing the experience and expertise of both Emory Healthcare and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the Addiction Alliance of Georgia will focus on prevention, treatment and support services so that more Georgians can avoid or recover from addiction to alcohol, opioids, and other substances.

By creating the state’s first comprehensive program that integrates addiction and recovery-focused treatment, education, outreach and research – including collaborations with government agencies, concerned donors and partners throughout the larger community – the Addiction Alliance of Georgia will serve as a national model, bringing hope and healing to thousands of people and families throughout the state and beyond.

When will clinical services be available through the Addiction Alliance of Georgia?

The Addiction Alliance of Georgia will begin operating its clinical services in Atlanta in late 2021. These services will include an intensive outpatient program, telehealth, and a partial hospitalization program (also known as day treatment), addressing both substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health concerns. Efforts to secure philanthropic support are currently underway to support this endeavor.

Longer-range phase two plans include exploring a detox and residential addiction treatment facility on or near the campus of the Emory Brain Health Center.

What is the Addiction Alliance of Georgia doing now?

The Addiction Alliance of Georgia is focusing on several key outreach and education initiatives, including prevention work at Atlanta-area schools, training partnerships with interested providers of professional education on substance use disorders, and community-based workshops aimed at reducing stigma. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alliance is proceeding with initiatives to support addiction-related medical education and the reduction of stigma for individuals with substance use disorder.

Hazelden Betty Ford’s Butler Center for Research and Emory have already begun collaborating on exciting joint projects.

Where can I get help for addiction?

Until the Alliance’s clinical services are available, information on existing services and resources from Emory Healthcare and Hazelden Betty Ford will be accessible at AddictionAllianceOfGeorgia.org.

The Alliance is depending on philanthropic support from individuals, corporations and foundations to help fund its lifesaving activities.

About Emory Brain Health Center

The Emory Brain Health Center uniquely integrates neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, rehabilitation medicine and sleep medicine to offer world-class, patient-centered care, treatment and discovery for brain and spinal cord conditions. Bringing these multiple specialties together allows more than 400 researchers and clinicians to work in partnership to predict, prevent, treat and cure devastating diseases and disorders of the brain more rapidly. These collaborations are demonstrated in numerous centers and programs across the Brain Health Center, including the Epilepsy Center, Pituitary Center, Stroke Center, Treatment-Resistant Depression Program and Veterans Program. Emory’s multidisciplinary approach is transforming the world’s understanding of the vast frontiers of the brain, harnessing imagination and discovery to address 21st century challenges. Learn more about comprehensive, diagnostic and innovative treatment options at the Emory Brain Health Center.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and co-occurring mental health treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide, with expansive on-site and telehealth solutions and a network of collaborators throughout health care.

With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.

Learn more at www.HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter @hazldnbettyford.

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