Momenta, a recently opened addiction treatment center in Glenwood Springs, CO., offers mental health and substance abuse services to inpatients as well as outpatients.
Momenta was founded by mother of two Mandy Owensby, who herself had been in recovery for nearly six years. Having struggled to find a program that would accept her with her children, she wanted to create a program specifically for women and mothers.
During her time working in human services, Owensby noted that there was a lack of local treatment resources for patients, who instead had to be referred to out of state programs.
Bailey Allison, a clinician at Momenta, claims economic troubles contribute to the rising addiction trends in the state. A lack of psychiatrists and physicians able to provide treatment in rural communities such as Glenwood Springs has compounded the problem, she added.
Owensby states there has been a rise in substance abuse and suicides in mountain communities. According to The Colorado Department of Health & Environment, an estimated 960 total drug poisoning deaths occurred in 2017, representing a 5 year high for the state.
Gov. John Hickenlooper recently passed a law to maintain the Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force in Colorado.
In October of 2017, the task force instigated a subcommittee that focused on protecting and supporting children whose caregivers or parents who suffer from substance abuse. Many mothers with substance use disorders fear losing custody of their children, Owensby said. Many of them may not seek help until their substance abuse becomes severe, she added.
Momenta staff utilize a holistic approach to recovery, focusing not only on mother-child relationships, but on the entire family. Based on a 12-step model, the treatment center offers family therapy, fitness, nutrition and other courses.
Aside from Momenta, Owensby said, only three other programs — in Grand Junction, Denver and Pueblo — offer similar services.
The treatment center consists of two buildings. The first houses 18 women in the treatment program, while the second one provides room for six women who have completed treatment and are transitioning their way back into society.
Owensby requires patients to commit to a minimum of 90 days of treatment. She believes that the longer they receive treatment services, they will be more likely to sustain a long-term recovery plan. A longer treatment program may also reduce ‘triggers’ in a patient that may lead to a drug relapse.
In her work with outpatient treatment centers, Bailey Allison has worked with patients with addictions who have also experienced trauma in their lives. Depending on the severity of the trauma, they may be at risk of developing substance abuse issues when they’re older. Allison added that if all people understand the connection between drug addiction and trauma, it can become easier for them to see substance use not as a choice but a medical condition.
Momenta’s opening has generated a great deal of interest from those seeking addiction treatment. Owensby believes that they may soon have to place people on a wait list.