New opioid addiction clinic pairs medication with spirituality

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (WTHR) - A new clinic for opioid addiction is bringing a new focus on faith to help heal.

The clinic in Greenwood gives not only Suboxone as medical treatment, but also turns to Scripture for recovery.

Like so many Hoosiers, Anthony Phelps, a father of seven, found himself in the dangerous grip of drug addiction.

"Meth, heroin, drugs, period. Anything that altered my mind," Phelps said.

But he's now in recovery. And he says his life changed because of the conversations and counseling he found at Alpha Omega Elevation.

"Everything in my life has become better, brighter," Phelps said. "I go to bed happy. I wake up happy and I believe it's all because of this."

The new clinic in Greenwood combines Suboxone and spirituality to help heal. It's a unique approach to treatment started by Dr. Dee Bonney and his wife, who's a registered nurse.

Bonney works the front lines of the opioid battle in his day job as an ER physician at Franciscan Health.

"I can say every day someone comes in with an opioid use disorder," Bonney said. "I'd find broken people in the emergency department and realize kind of, like, 'I get what's missing in your life.'"

Most addicts, he discovered, weren't connected to a church and faith was a disconnect he could help fix. He says he say how it worked to heal his own personal life and knew it could help heal addiction, too.

Alpha Omega Elevation has grown to 25 clients since opening in August.

"We want to get everyone off of Suboxone and out of our counseling classes because we want them to get better. We are not trying to cram religion down the throat or anything, but saying, 'Hey this is what we found. Check it out'," Bonney said. "That we're willing to have a dialogue about that I think sets us apart, between truly cultivating a relationship with people and trying to just walk this out in their life so that they can get to the other side of their addiction."

Phelps met Dr. Bonney by chance when he was sick and had to go to the ER. Now, he calls that meeting and subsequent conversation a blessing. He comes to the AOElevation clinic two or three times a week now for medication, counseling and men's group.

"I mean, he's finding peace that he didn't know was there," Bonney said.

Spirituality wasn't a part of Phelps' fight against opioid addiction when he tried to beat it in the past.
But he says faith is what's kept him on the right path now - for his family, for his community, for his own survival.

"I've never been able to say I'm proud of myself you know for a long time and just recently I can look in the mirror and be happy with who I see," Phelps said.

The clinic, located on Smith Valley Road in Greenwood, is by appointment only. They don't accept insurance, but patients can file to get reimbursed. Dr. Bonney says it's a concierge approach, where for $300 per month, people get Suboxone, counseling and spiritual support.

He also tries to make treatment personal.

Every patient gets Dr. Bonney's cell phone and can call for help anytime.