Charles Romans | The Daily Independent | Original article
GRAYSON Fresh Start Health and Treatment Center officially opened an office in Grayson with a ribbon-cutting ceremony sponsored by the Grayson Chamber of Commerce. Fresh Start Health Systems Operation Manager Kristina Holtzapfel said the new location will serve Carter County and surrounding areas.
“Here at Fresh Start, we do primary care services, we offer addiction treatments, medicated assisted treatments, and we also offer peer support, case management, counseling services, and we are getting ready to offer psych services,” Holtzapfel said.
Holtzapfel said treatment needs to address the entire issue, rather than simply the individual and perhaps more noticeable parts of the issue.
“And most of the time when someone has an addiction issue, they are not receiving primary health care or getting health screenings, and we realize that they need those types of things as well. And this is for whoever needs our services,” Holtzapfel said of Fresh Start’s coverage area. “We have had an office in Ashland for about three years now, and we recently expanded here in the Grayson area. We feel that there is a high demand here, and we hope to help some people out.”
“One thing we will be doing here in Grayson that I don’t believe anyone else is doing in this area is treating Hepatitis C,” she said. “We are working closely with the folks at the health department, and they have the needle exchange program, and they send folks over to us.”
That treatment would consist of the patient having blood drawn there at the Fresh Start Grayson location, and having the sample sent off to a lab.
“And then when they come back for their results we can move forward with a treatment plan with medication from there,” she said. Holtzapfel said the recovery rate in that program is very high.
“Addiction recovery is a process,” she said of the various addiction treatments and plans. “It’s not just that you come here and get healed. The ultimate goal is that you eventually come off of the medication that is assisting you in recovery, but every person is different. Every person who has addiction problems, the length of time they have been using drugs, and their age and things like that all plays into their recovery. And the support system they have is also a factor in recovery.
“We have what we call a targeted case manager,” Holtzapfel said. “And they help them with things like finding a housing, food and jobs. And we also work with Lori Baier from the Fletcher Group, and she comes once a month and does Workforce Wednesday with us on the last Wednesday of every month. She works with clients to help them get job interviews.” All of this, she said, is geared toward helping Fresh Start’s clients to recover their lives, and not to simply let them go once a treatment plan has been completed.
“A lot of times people turn to drugs because of the problems in their lives,” Holtzapfel said. The goal is to beat the chemical addiction, she said, and through counseling help the clients overcome the problems that might have led the to addiction initially. “We want to teach them how to cope,” she said. “Because life really isn’t easy for anyone.”
Holtzapfel said if a person believes they have an addiction problem, they should simply call the Fresh Start office, because a doctor referral isn’t required. And in the Grayson office, Fresh Start does walk-in visits if a person is feeling sick for any reason, and will be doing COVID tests soon. They also will be doing DOT physicals as well, and she wants to stress that Fresh Start isn’t just an addiction treatment center, but a primary health care provider for everyone. Their phone number is (606) 225-8200, and appointments can be scheduled online at freshstarthealth.com.