Empowering Recovery: Cenikor Answers the Call Amidst Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment Challenges

We find ourselves at a critical juncture in the battle against adolescent substance use disorder (SUD), as yet another nonprofit drug treatment center has reluctantly closed its doors due to insufficient funding.

This closure has raised important questions about the accessibility of care for adolescents grappling with SUD in the face of rising overdose deaths, particularly among young adults.

At the heart of this crisis lies the issue of inaccessible treatment, exacerbated by Texas’s highest-in-the-nation uninsured rate, standing at approximately 18% in 2021, well above the national average of 8.6%. Coupled with this challenge is an ongoing debate surrounding state reimbursement rates, which play a crucial role in offsetting the cost of uninsured patients unable to afford private pay rates for treatment.

Amidst these challenges, Cenikor stands as a beacon of hope

As one of the largest behavioral health networks in Texas, Cenikor is committed to providing treatment to those who may not be able to afford it, thanks in part to the funding support provided by the state.

We provide resources beyond the state’s per-patient-per-day reimbursement rates for residential treatment. The state recognizes us as their “gold standard” in this regard.

Through a diverse mix of payors including commercial insurance, private pay, and government support, we remain fiscally robust, enabling us to continue serving young people in need with affordable treatment at Odyssey House, Cenikor’s adolescent treatment program located in Southwest Houston.

Cenikor’s Odyssey House serves adolescents throughout Texas

Offering both inpatient and outpatient treatment services, Odyssey House provides a nurturing environment for almost 200 youth annually. Adolescents receive evidence-based dual-diagnosis treatment and academic support, ensuring they maintain their educational pursuits during inpatient treatment.

Adolescents come from around the state to receive inpatient behavioral health services. In the past five years, 44% of the 977 clients served were from outside the Greater Houston area.

Roughly 66% of Cenikor clients are considered impoverished, primarily relying on state or federal programs for funding. Recognizing the importance of accessible treatment, we have grown our relationship with Medicaid, enhancing access for those in need. The remaining 34% of our clients receive support from commercial insurance or other providers or are self-pay.

In the nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment arena, financial stability is often not the norm. State and federal programs only pay so much, and there are currently more people needing services than available funding. We don’t let that prevent access to treatment.

Funding challenges should never create a barrier to treatment. To this end, if assistance is needed, individualized financial education and payment plans are available. If you or a loved one are seeking treatment, please call our Access Center at 1-888-CENIKOR.

High-quality, affordable treatment

Last year, Cenikor saw a 26% increase in clients served with a 60% completion rate in intensive residential and detox programs. Over 12,400 clients started or continued their road to recovery with Cenikor.

Additionally, Evernorth Behavioral Health, a Cigna corporation, named Cenikor a 2023 Center of Excellence for SUD. This distinction validates our commitment to exceptional patient care while maintaining costs below industry averages, as determined by a rigorous analysis of patient outcomes and cost efficiency.

Offering comprehensive care to the communities we serve

The Cenikor continuum of care programs include everything from education and prevention through aftercare and alumni events.

Recognizing the potential for prevention, we also offer age-appropriate, evidence-based curricula to teach valuable life skills. This includes developing good self-esteem, resisting peer and media pressure, and exploring drug-free activities. The goal of this program is to prevent youth from ever needing treatment.

Cenikor’s reach spans nine adult residential treatment programs throughout Texas and New Mexico, each delivering medical detoxification, intensive residential services, and supportive care. We also offer in-person and telehealth outpatient services. In the past year, we began our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that patients can start at any time during or after their recovery treatment.

Aftercare is also essential to maintaining sobriety. We have recovery support services (RSS) at eight locations, including Odyssey House. These services are partly funded through sponsorships and grants. Each of these recovery support peer specialists has lived experience with recovery and earned state certification to assist clients as they rebuild their lives. They are trained to address questions that come up in sobriety and to help clients navigate tasks like applying for a driver’s license or replacing a lost birth certificate.

We know recovery is a journey, not a final destination. That’s why we work to meet our clients where they are, no matter the challenges. We’ll walk with them the rest of their lives, as a supporter and as a partner, to help them achieve their recovery goals and beyond.

Bottom line: We want to help those who need help

Cenikor is looking for partners to explore opportunities for expansion and growth in service provision. Together, we can extend access to treatment that is so desperately needed in Texas and other states. For potential partnership inquiries, please reach out to

In these challenging times, Cenikor remains committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care to all individuals struggling with substance use and mental health disorders. We hope you will join us as we strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.

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