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Advantage receives $1.44 Million for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, a community behavioral health provider, was one of 8 treatment providers across the state to share in an $11.7 million award from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Funds were awarded to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), who will be taking the lead in directing program start-ups across the state.  All 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia were awarded funding based on the rates of overdose deaths and unmet need for opioid addiction treatment.  This program will allow Advantage, who provides services in a 10-county area in northeast Georgia, to help clients battling opioid addiction in four distinct ways including medication assisted treatment, intensive residential and outpatient treatment, peer-led recovery support services and community outreach and education.

Oliver (O. J.) Booker, Chief Executive Officer of Advantage, emphasizes that clients will be treated according to their individual need.  “Recovery is a personal journey.  Each client will be assessed to determine their needs.  The grant will provide an array of evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery services to help clients get better and maintain recovery.”  Director of Business Development Evan Mills states, “We will increase access to treatment and needed services for people who have been unsuccessful in stopping active addiction to opiates.  Advantage will also use these funds to promote community conversations about recovery from opiate addiction and the variety of treatment options available.”

Area agencies and community partners will be assisting in the implementation of this program, including the University of Georgia, who will conduct an initial assessment and ongoing assessments focusing on recovery community strengths and needs, but specifically looking at the level of opioid use. While the length of time for each phase will vary according to individual progress, the entire treatment program can last more than a year.  Advantage staff point out that addiction develops over many years for some people, and that recovery must become a life-long process.