By Melissa Garcia
DENVER (CBS4) – A group of professionals in Denver who are recovering from their own addictions are coming together to fight the opioid epidemic. Urban Peaks Rehab, located at Lafayette Street and Colfax Avenue, started a new outpatient clinic in October in an effort to save lives.
Staff members know the struggles of addiction personally.
“Everybody that works here is in recovery for one thing or another, and has been specifically affected by the opioid crisis,” said Kristin Barbieri, clinic manager at Urban Peaks Rehab.
“My story allows me to have compassion,” said Brittany Kitchens, who also works at Urban Peaks as the clinic lead.
Kitchens began taking prescription pain pills after surgery on her appendix, which turned into a six-year dependency that eventually led to heroin use.
“What kind of woke me up was I ended up in the back of a police car, and I knew that if I didn’t make a change and make a choice to do something different, there was a good chance that I wouldn’t survive,” Kitchens told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Now with three years of sobriety under her belt, Kitchens treats recovering opioid patients, like Vaughn Bishop.
“I slowly graduated to using heroin because it was cheaper and easier to get,” said Bishop, of his past struggles.
Bishop said that Suboxone, the medication prescribed by his doctor at Urban Peaks Rehab, had significantly reduced the symptoms of illness that accompany opioid withdrawal.
“It’s not a fun process,” Bishop said, of getting clean. “But the real work starts once you actually get sober.”
Rehab staff members provide patients with individual therapy, peer support groups and medication assisted treatment.
“No matter where they are in their recovery process, we know what it looks likes. We’ve been there,” Kitchens said.
Barbieri said the low-cost rehab clinic offers services that are typically around 40 percent lower cost than other centers. A handful of insurance carriers cover the care, including Medicaid. Self-pay or uninsured patients, she said, pay $300 for their first month of treatment, and $150 for all following months of treatment.
Through medication, Urban Peaks Rehab treats patients working to overcome opioid addiction and alcohol abuse. Through therapy, clinic staff are able to treat patients suffering with any addiction. Staff members also connect patients to community resources to help them rebuild their lives.
For more information on services or to contact the rehab, visit urbanpeaksrehab.com.