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UT Health San Antonio establishes an initiative to advance research and treatment on substance use

A picture of a lamp post on the grounds of UT Health San Antonio with UT Health San Antonio banners on the sides of it.
Josh Peck
The campus of UT Health San Antonio

UT Health San Antonio has unveiled the Be Well Institute on substance use and related disorders, bringing new advancements on research and evidence-based treatment.

Be Well Texas initiative is a part of a new comprehensive center that will use clinical and public health programs, education and community engagement to address addiction and related concerns.

“This institute will lead transformational change in addressing substance use and substance use disorders throughout Texas and the nation,” said Robert A. Hromas, acting UT Health San Antonio president. "We support the discovery, development and implementation of new treatments, or more effective use of current treatments.”

Bexar County is in the top three counties for drug-poising related deaths in 2022, according to Texas Health Data from Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

The initiative aims to create a compassionate and transformational environment for care for those with substance abuse disorders. With innovative research and local engagement, they hope to remove stigma and support the recovery of patients.

Be Well is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network, and it also receives federal funding.

The treatments include psychological therapies, social and peer support, lifestyle counseling, community outreach and educational initiatives.

Founding Director Jennifer Potter said the launch of the institute brings a new era of collaboration to this field of research.

“Stakeholders from across the academic, health care and public sectors are encouraged to join us in this vital endeavor as we strive to improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by substance use disorders.” she added.

Gabriella Alcorta-Solorio is a health reporting intern for Texas Public Radio in collaboration with Texas Community Health News through Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the university’s Translational Health Research Center.

Gabriella Alcorta-Solorio is a journalism major at Texas State University, minoring in women’s studies. She has previously worked as a photojournalist with The Ranger and has reported on Alzheimer’s and dementia using public health data. She plans to stay in South Texas after graduation to build a career in journalism focused on women’s rights and human rights.