Lafayette, Indiana, February 1, 2017North Central Health Services (NCHS) has established substance abuse and mental health care as key priorities for grant funding. With a $346,469 grant from NCHS, Riggs Community Health Center (Riggs CHC) will pilot an integrated addictions care delivery program for underserved populations. The NCHS grant will facilitate the beginning steps of the formal program for detox, treatment, and counseling for addiction patients. The new program aligns well with the Riggs CHC mission to improve access to quality, cost-effective, comprehensive health care, with respect and compassion to underserved community members.

The 2016 Tippecanoe County Health Needs Assessment documented that prescription medication abuse and substance abuse are community issues impacting the number of arrests and prosecutions in the last four years. Riggs patients will receive an assessment – Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) – which evaluates the severity of the substance use and helps the medical team identify the appropriate level of treatment. The intent of the Screening is to increase early identification of future or current addicts. Brief Intervention will focus on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and what can help motivate behavioral change. Referral to Treatment provides specialty care to patients identified as needing more extensive treatment.

Riggs CHC’s Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) utilizes the SBIRT method with patients at their initial visit.   Coming from an addiction counseling background, the LCSW knows the benefits of the method. The addictions program will operate two days a week at the Hartford Street location, one of the three Riggs CHC sites for care. Patients enrolled in the program will be assigned a Riggs CHC Primary Care Provider (PCP) who will coordinate their care. Initial treatment will include a full physical exam with labs, which ensures optimal and quality physical health for the patient. Medications are monitored daily if detox was warranted by the PCP. Medications to facilitate successful withdrawal and abstinence will be limited to medications proven successful for treatment and are within the scope of practice of Riggs CHC. Communication between the PCP and the LCSW would coordinate counseling for the patient; either in group or individual counseling.

“The opportunity to refer offenders to the Riggs program is the next ideal support step for those struggling with addiction,” said Tippecanoe County Sherriff Barry Richard.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Megan Wilson at 765-742-1567 Ext. 3058 or email at