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

The Be Well Institute has been introduced by UT Health San Antonio, with a focus on substance use and related disorders. This new initiative aims to provide a compassionate and transformative environment for individuals with substance abuse disorders through innovative research and local engagement. The goal is to reduce stigma and support the recovery of patients, and the institute is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network and receives federal funding.

According to Texas Health Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Bexar County is 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 comprehensive center that incorporates clinical and public health programs, education, and community engagement to combat substance use disorders. Acting UT Health San Antonio President Robert A. Hromas believes that this institute will lead transformational change in addressing these issues on a national and state level.

The treatments offered by the Be Well Institute include psychological therapies, social and peer support, lifestyle counseling, community outreach, and educational initiatives. 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.

By Samantha Jones

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