SAN ANTONIO -- It's the first of its kind in the nation and it is right here in San Antonio. Treating a growing problem across the country, Opiate Treatment Centers of America helps people recover from abuse and addiction.
The center opened in July. They have 17 patients right now and the counselor said most of them are addicted to pills.
"I think it saved my life,” said Denice Coppinger, who added that stepping inside OTCOA wasn’t easy. "I was addicted to pain pills which started years ago. I was taking 50-60 10-milligrams a day."
Coppinger was addicted to Vicodin for eight years, which made her situation life or death.
The problem isn’t limited to San Antonio, though. It requires worldwide solutions. The center says that millions are addicted and it's not easy to treat. About 90 percent of opioid addicts will relapse within a year.
"[It] has become a nationwide epidemic, especially in the lower socio economic level," said Ginger Beeler, a counselor at the center.
The center focuses on helping people beat the addiction by meeting weekly, practicing breathing techniques, and prescribing a medication that will reverse the effects.
"The clients are not uncomfortable. The suboxen fills the neuro receptors in the brain so that the opiates cannot enter," Beeler said.
Coppinger spent thousands on her addiction.
"I was going from doctor to doctor and then I would go to different pharmacies. My family would say I'd be sitting up and, you know, nodding out,” Coppinger recalled. “I was pretty much in a daze, in a fog.”
But she says things are clear for her now.
"I haven't had a pain pill in over 40 days now,” Copppinger said.
A visit to the Opiod Treatment Center can cost anywhere from $300 to $500. It includes a doctor’s visit, the suboxen prescription, and unlimited counseling.