Substance abuse help group started

Winchester has a new support group for people with substance abuse disorders.

The group meets every Tuesday from 9 to 10 a.m. at New Vista’s clinic at  325 Professional Ave., and LaToya Vaughn, clinic director, said the counseling center wants to start others.

“Right now, there’s just the one group, but we’re looking at offering it in different time frames,” she said.

Each group would consist of about 10-15 members.

Sessions begin prompltly, and the doors are locked at five minutes after the start time. No cell phones are allowed in the meetings, which last for an hour with no interruptions.

Vaughn said the new group offers peer support, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but it also has an educational component that involves an evidence-based curriculum known as the Matrix model. The program is for people with all kinds of addictions, including opioids, stimulants and alcohol.

The curriculum teaches them why their brains and bodies react the way they do to the substances they’re using, what triggers the reactions, and what they can do when that happens.

“We educate them on healthy coping skills,” Vaughn said.

The program is “Medicaid-billable,” she said, and if a client doesn’t have health insurance, a case manager will work with them to try to get them on Medicaid.

“We’re excited about it,” Vaughn said of the new program.

New Vista serves children and adults in 17 central Kentucky counties with services in mental health, substance use and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Winchester clinic serves clients from Clark, Madison, Estill and Powell counties, and offers individual as well as group counseling. It is open Monday from 9 until noon and Tuesday through Friday from 8 to 5.

More information is available at, and there is a help 24-hour help line: 1-800-928-8000. Local callers may also call (859) 774-2562.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at

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