Fast Growing Addiction Treatment Company Readies First Memphis Clinic

A fast-growing, Tennessee-based addiction treatment company has entered the Memphis market.

Spero Health Inc. will open its first local outpatient clinic at 920 Estate Drive, Suite 8, in East Memphis, on Nov. 15. The location is just off Poplar Avenue in the prominent, 38119 ZIP code.

Spero is based in the Nashville area, and currently has more than 30 clinic locations, including more than a dozen in Kentucky, now six in Tennessee, and a handful in Ohio and in Indiana. The company launched in February 2018 and opened its first location in Tennessee earlier this year.

“We feel it is critical for Memphis and the surrounding area to have access to local, affordable, high-quality care as the numbers of individuals who die from addiction-related disease continues to worsen,” Spero’s CEO Steve Priest said in a release. “This epidemic is a multisystem issue touching individuals, families, schools, agencies, and employers locally, regionally, and nationally.”

Spero began looking at a location in the Memphis market in January 2019. Currently, the Memphis clinic is the only one planned locally for the year. Statewide, locations in Cookeville and Clarksville are scheduled to open before the end of the year.

In May 2019, Spero’s first Tennessee location opened in Smyrna, and the company said its treatment approach could help curb high rates of drug overdose deaths in the state.

In 2017, Tennessee ranked higher than the national average in opioid-involved overdose deaths, with nearly 1,300, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. With those deaths, calculated per capita, Tennessee was ranked fourteenth nationwide.

The company said in April that it planned to open “a network of clinics throughout Tennessee” in 2019. Regionally, Spero opened clinics in Jackson in August and in Dyersburg in September.

The Memphis clinic will be led by Dr. Dustin Inman, a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and Spero plans to add another physician to the new location soon.

In addition to the two doctors, Spero Memphis will be staffed with a recovery support specialist, a counselor, a facility administrator, and a medical assistant.

According to a Spero spokesperson, clinics are equipped to see 350 to 500 patients per month. Some treatment plans involve weekly or biweekly visits to the clinics. Spero is enrolled with TennCare and accepts Medicaid and a number of commercial insurance plans.

Collectively, Spero’s treatment clinics offer physical and behavioral health care services, treating more than 6,000 patients a month.

According to the Shelby County Department of Health, in 2018 there were 213 suspected overdose-related deaths in the county, 854 opioid-related emergency room visits, and more than 1,200 doses of opioid-blocking medication administered.

Over the past four years, more than 500 Shelby County residents have died due to opioid overdoses.