UT Health San Antonio launches new program to enhance substance use research and treatment

The Be Well Texas program is a new initiative launched by UT Health San Antonio, with the aim of addressing substance use disorders through clinical and public health programs, education, and community engagement. This comprehensive center will utilize research and evidence-based treatments to combat addiction and related concerns.

According to Texas Health Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Bexar County has been among the top three counties for drug-poisoning related deaths in 2022. In response to these alarming statistics, the Be Well Institute aims to provide a compassionate and transformative environment for individuals with substance abuse disorders. Through innovative research and local engagement, they hope to reduce stigma and support the recovery of patients. The institute is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network and receives federal funding.

Founding Director Jennifer Potter expressed that the launch of the institute signifies a new era of collaboration within the research field. Stakeholders from academic, health care, and public sectors are encouraged to join in this vital endeavor to improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by substance use disorders. Gabriella Alcorta-Solorio, a health reporting intern for Texas Public Radio, is collaborating with Texas Community Health News through Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the university’s Translational Health Research Center.

The Be Well Institute offers treatments including psychological therapies, social and peer support, lifestyle counseling, community outreach, and educational initiatives. These treatments are aimed at providing individuals with substance abuse disorders with a supportive environment that promotes their recovery while also reducing stigma associated with addiction.

Acting UT Health San Antonio President Robert A. Hromas believes that this new initiative will lead transformational change in addressing these issues on a national and state level. With support from stakeholders across different sectors, he hopes that the institute can make a significant impact on reducing drug-related deaths in Bexar County.

Overall, the launch of the Be Well Institute represents an important step towards improving mental health care for individuals struggling with addiction in Bexar County. As we continue to address these complex issues head-on

By Riley Johnson

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