In the News

Relevant news to our mission


When the Opioid Crisis Hits Home, a Houston Program Knocks on the Door

Houston Chronicle | 2/21/2020
This provides an update on how Houston is addressing the opioid crisis through HEROES program and the impact in the community. Jessica Yeager, our peer recovery support specialist, is interviewed.

Harris County Receives More than $2 Million Grant From CDC to Combat Opioid Overdoses

KHOU | November 19, 2019
Houston Recovery Center client Damascus Wright shares his success story with MAT and recovery coaching. The new grant from CDC will help others like Damascus get their lives back from substance use disorder.

Working to Address the Opioid Crisis

FOX26 Houston, September 12, 2019
Leonard Kincaid and Jessica Yeager from Houston Recovery Center share a segment with Dr. David Persse on their involvement in working to address the opioid crisis in Houston.

Houston Recovery Center Offers Different Kind of Help

Houston Chronicle | September 6, 2019
In six years, the Houston Recovery Center has provided a place for thousands of publicly intoxicated individuals to stay safe as they sober up and find treatment. This article provides an overview of its efforts.

“HEROES” Help Save Lives From Opioid Addiction

KHOU | July 19, 2019
This segment shares the story of one woman who was addicted to opioids for 30 years. She is now receiving free treatment options from UTHealth’s Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System (HEROES) and seven months drug free. Houston Recovery Center is a partner providing recovery coaches.

Houston ED Opioid System Integrates Assertive Outreach with Comprehensive Care for Opioid Use Disorder

Journal of Emergency Medical Services | June 6, 2019
The HEROES team shares the goals of the opioid program, challenges, and ways to determine program success.

Can This New Research Program Teach Houston How to Tackle Opioid Abuse?

Houstonia | May 1, 2019
Local magazine shares information about opioid issues in Houston and how the HEROES program is making a difference.

Former Houston Prima Ballerina Opens Up About Dark Secret

ABC-13 | April 27, 2019
Houston Recovery Center ambassador Lauren Anderson shares her story and recovery journey with ABC-13’s Melanie Lawson.

Katy-Area Leaders Eye Better Jail Diversion Programs

Community Impact | March 25, 2019
Houston Recovery Center is listed as a resource.

UTSA Psychologist Helps Train First Responders on Front Line of the Opioid Crisis

UTSA Today | March 19, 2019
Houston Recovery Center is one of the agencies working on FRONTLINES with UTSA Professor Bray.

Lauren Anderson Shares with Isiah Carey

FOX26 | March 19, 2019
Lauren Anderson is co-chair of Houston Recovery Center’s Ambassadors Circle.

Local Group Waging Battle on Opioid-Related Overdoses

KPRC Channel 2, January 11, 2019
Houston Recovery Center is part of a multi-institution pilot study led by UTHealth, which reaches out to people who have overdosed on opioids. The program offers medicated-assisted treatment for opioid dependence in the emergency department, a follow-up visit to the patient’s home by a paramedic and peer recovery support specialist, and community support through coaching and recovery meetings.

Oil and drugs: A toxic mix

Houston Chronicle | May 29, 2018
As dollars flow into Permian Basin, dangerous substance abuse increases. MIDLAND – Eddy Lozoya never failed a drug test in the three years he hauled water and sand across the West Texas oil patch, even though he used at least $200 a day in cocaine…

The Senate’s tax plan would cut alcohol taxes. That would be a public health disaster.

Vox | November 15, 2017
While the alcohol industry has been lobbying for tax cuts for years, they are the opposite of what public health researchers and drug policy experts have long recommend. That’s because alcohol is linked to …

For Texan of the Year, I nominate Four Price for revamping mental health care in Texas

Dallas Morning News | November 10, 2017
Price, state representative for House District 87 in the Texas Panhandle, spearheaded several pieces of legislation related to mental health. The bills may not have been as sexy or headline-grabbing as bathroom bills…

Survey: nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend who’s been addicted to drugs

Vox | October 31, 2017
This is what an epidemic looks like: So many people are exposed to drug addiction that nearly half of Americans have a personal experience to speak of. This seems to cut across sex, race, age…

Rep. Four Price tapped to lead House panel studying opioids, drug abuse

Amarillo Globe-News | October 23, 2017
The committee will study the prevalence and impact of substance abuse and substance use disorders in the state during the legislative offseason, according to a news release. It will report its findings before the Legislature convenes for…

Federal Officials Approve W.Va.’s Plan To Expand Medicaid Coverage For Drug Treatment

Kaiser Health News | October 11, 2017
West Virginia officials say Medicaid will begin paying for about a 30-day stay at a residential drug treatment center, as well as methadone treatment and the overdose reversal drug…

Harris County DA Stops Prosecuting Drug Cases Involving Minuscule Amounts

Houston Press | September 27, 2017
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has stopped prosecuting cases involving minuscule amounts of drugs — often referred to as “trace cases” — in order to prioritize more substantial crimes and make better use of…

Why Prescription Drug Misuse Is Becoming A Problem For People Over 50

Dr. Phil | September 8, 2017
Karen says she spent 13 years addicted to eight different prescription medications and says no one knew her secret. The former school teacher says it took an overdose, four days in a coma…

K2 is the new drug of choice’ in Texas prisons, official says

Houston Chronicle | July 10, 2017
In recent letters to the Houston Chronicle, convicts report that a growing number of prisoners are overdosing from the drug – though prison statistics do not confirm that, perhaps due to…

85th Legislature: Improving the Texas state of mind

Texas Tribune | July 4, 2017
Over the course of the Texas Legislature’s 85th regular session lawmakers had tense debates about some issues, however they worked together diligently to produce a set of mental health-related bills…

House approves bill focused on mental health insurance benefits

Texas Tribune | April 4, 2017
Texas House members endorsed a bill Tuesday that would prevent health insurance companies from offering mental health benefits differently from medical benefits and offer more help for…

The biggest health reform bill since Obamacare, explained in 600 words

Vox | December 13, 2016
The $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act is a controversial, bipartisan effort that’s been in the works since April 2014. As its name would suggest, it’s been touted as legislation that’ll help get medical cures…

Texas wages a war on drugs at the border. That might be the wrong place.

Texas Tribune | December 13, 2016
The $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act is a controversial, bipartisan effort that’s been in the works since April 2014. As its name would suggest, it’s been touted as legislation that’ll help get medical cures…

Diverse cultures: Putting a face on community policing

Houston Chronicle | November 11, 2016
On Monday, Draaven joined the current class of 68 Houston police cadets through a daylong diversity tour across the city to learn about sometimes-marginalized communities they’ll meet on the…

How the City Came to Know Dozens of Midtown Kush Users on a First-Name Basis

Houston Press | October 4, 2016
The relatively chaotic scene is typical of the blocks surrounding the Wheeler light rail station. If you’ve driven past the area, you have seen what Eichenbaum and the city’s two-person Public Intoxication Team…

New city program getting Kush users off the streets

KHOU | September 8, 2016
The City of Houston is trying something new to get users of Kush, or synthetic marijuana, off the streets. Four months ago, city officials launched a pilot program called the Public Intoxication Team. The PIT…

Kush City: Houston has Become a Major Hub for the Latest Drug of Choice

Houston Press | August 8, 2016
On June 23, 17, people in Hermann Park were hospitalized after overdosing on kush. Less than two weeks later, 33 people overdosed on kush on a single block in Brooklyn. Days after the Brooklyn episode…

Kushed out: City takes aim at stubborn new drug problem

Houston Chronicle | July 23, 2016
The cigarillo the man had been smoking was laced with Kush, a synthetic cannabinoid that is cheap and plentiful. It left him unconscious for almost 20 minutes before he staggered upright and walked…

33 Suspected of Overdosing on Synthetic Marijuana in Brooklyn

New York Times | July 12, 2016
On Tuesday, the longstanding problem became a local crisis on this gritty patch, on the border of two developing neighborhoods, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick. In the area around the subway station at…

The Harris County DA Invites Law-Breaking Citizens to “Make It Right”

Houstonia | July 18, 2016
“A lot of this is poverty-driven,” says Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. “They get a ticket and they either can eat or pay their fine. So they don’t show up, they get a warrant, it gets worse.” But the…

Synthetic drug use at Hermann Park sends 16 to hospital, authorities say

Houston Chronicle | June 23, 2016
More than a dozen people were transported to hospitals around the Texas Medical Center on Thursday after apparently ingesting synthetic drugs at a section of Hermann Park known as “Kush Corner.” Authorities said 16 people…

Ten people hospitalized after possible drug overdoses on skid row

Los Angeles Times | April 23, 2016
Several police, fire and ambulance crews responded to the scene and found multiple drug overdose victims. Witnesses told police that the victims were smoking Spice, a synthetic marijuana. The synthetic…

Harris County Wins $2 Million Grant For Plan To Reform Its Criminal Justice System

Houston Public Media | April 14, 2016
District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded the county $2 million dollars. “Our main goals are to safely reduce our jail population by 21 percent in…

Sobering center helps homeless in Downtown Houston

Houston Public Media | January 20, 2016
There are lots of resources available to serve Houston’s homeless population, including the Houston Recovery Center, a sobering center downtown. Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps takes us on a tour with…

Sobriety center partners with UHPD as safe haven

Daily Cougar | October 29, 2014
In the corner of a dimly lit room, a TV monitor displays images of locations outside of the building. In one of the squares, a Houston Police Department patrol car pulls up. A recovery support specialist jumps up…

Sobering center a place for addicts to get help

Houston Chronicle | August 3, 2014
When Mayor Annise Parker opened the center at 150 North Chenevert St. last year, the idea was to cut police costs and reduce recidivism, creating a place other than jail for those whose only crime is public…

Austin officials move to decriminalize public drunkenness

Austin American-Statesman | March 8, 2014
An effort by an array of criminal justice, law enforcement and medical officials is underway to open a sobriety center — “drunk tank” to many — that would effectively decriminalize public intoxication, which over the…

First New Year’s Eve could be interesting for Houston’s new sobering center

Houston Chronicle | December 31, 2013
The Houston Center for Sobriety is preparing for its first New Year’s Eve in business. Leonard Kincaid, the director of operations for the center, has overseen the facility’s first year. He says tonight they will be staffing

Houston’s sobering center is showing progress

Isiah Factor | July 24, 2013
It was back in April when the doors opened at the Houston Center for Sobriety. City leaders approved the facility because there were so many intoxicated people (1900 a year) taking up space at the jails. Mayor…

Sober center: just what the doctor ordered

Houston Chronicle | March 15, 2013
The idea of letting the town drunk dry out behind bars is a beloved and enshrined aspect of Americana. Who doesn’t love Otis from “The Andy Griffith Show”? City budget writers, for one. Houston spends…

Drunk in public? Sober up at Houston’s new sobriety center

Houston Chronicle | March 12, 2013
Mayor Annise Parker recently announced the completion of the Houston Recovery Center renovation, home to the City of Houston’s new sobering center, which is expected to begin full operation in the next couple of…

Beats a night in the drunk tank

Houston Chronicle | March 7, 2013
You don’t want to be that guy (or gal for that matter) – the one stumbling on a sidewalk after one too many martinis at your favorite watering hole. But if you insist, at least now a night in jail may not be…

Mayor Parker cuts the ribbon at city’s new Houston Recovery Center

Houston Mayor’s Office | March 7, 2013
“This is an innovative solution to a costly problem that diverts our police from other matters and crowds the city jail,” said Mayor Parker. “It is the first step toward the city’s long-term goal of getting out of the jail…

New sobering center could help Houston save money, change lives

Houston Public Media | March 7, 2013
The facility will cost the city about $1.5 million a year to operate compared to the $6 million that’s spent right now to process public intoxication cases through the city jail. HPD makes around 17,000 public…

Sobering center opens in downtown Houston; expected to help city save money on jail costs

KTRK | March 7, 2013
The City of Houston is taking a much different approach to handling people under the influence and it will mean far fewer prosecutions for public intoxication. Officers can now take them to a so-called sobering center…

Looking to create ‘pathways to recovery’ at Sobering Center

Houston Chronicle | February 21, 2013
Approved by Houston City Council last May, the Sobering Center looks to save money and time by not booking public intoxication offenders into jail, allowing officers to return to patrol more quickly. “It’s really not so much about…

City approves $4.3 million for sobering center

Houston Chronicle | May 16, 2012
Police officers who detain people whose only crime is being drunk in public will have the option of dropping them off at the so-called sobering center for at least a four-hour stay without an arrest on their record…

City council approves new Houston sobering center

Houston Mayor’s Office | May 16, 2012
Houston City Council today approved Mayor Annise Parker’s innovative plan to create a public/private partnership to operate the Houston Sobering Center. Council also approved including the Houston Police…

Houston plans ‘sobering center’ at shelter instead of jail

Houston Chronicle | February 28, 2012
City officials plan to open a “sobering center” at the Star of Hope Mission downtown later this year. It would be an 84-bed facility that would allow people whose only offense is being drunk to bypass jail. Houston police arrest 19,000…

Mayor Parker unveils plan for sobering center

Houston Mayor’s Office | February 28, 2012
Houston Mayor Annise Parker today unveiled the first phase of her plan to help address overcrowding in the city jail. The new approach diverts public intoxication cases from the jail to a Sobering Center to receive…

Houston to open a sobering center for drunk arrests

Houston Public Media | February 26, 2012
Before getting into politics, Councilmember Ed Gonzalez was a Houston police officer for 18 years. He’s used that experience to launch an idea that would change how the Houston Police Department responds to people who are publicly…