New St. Elizabeth Recovery Center offers hope to opioid crisis

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky has a new outpatient treatment center to help address the opioid epidemic.

The  St. Elizabeth Physicians Journey Recovery Center, which opened in October, is three times the size of their previous one and believed to be the largest in Northern Kentucky.

"For our patients, we look at this as a center of hope," said Assistant Vice President Dan Cole.

The facility has enough room to provide medical treatment and therapy for more than 800 patients a year.

"We wanted a facility that could address the volume of patients that we feel are out there needing help,” said Dr. Teresa Koeller, medical director of the center. “But, we also wanted to be able to provide good high-quality addiction recovery care."

What the facility needs is more doctors. Staffing is expected to more than double in the next six months.

But, there aren't enough addictionologists to go around in this national crisis. 

"We need people that can be full-time and available all the time. And that has been difficult trying to recruit physicians," Koeller said.

"This is a very, very complex problem that requires complex solutions. And, it requires long-term care," said Cole.

The center takes a comprehensive approach  to help patients learn how to live without addiction.

"How do they learn to talk to each other, to their families, to their friends, to the people that are important to them so that they can maintain sobriety?" Koeller said.

SEE WCPO's complete Conquering Addiction coverage.