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Hamilton Davis brings new resources for opioid sufferers

Meridian Star - 4/20/2024

Apr. 20—Residents struggling with opioid addiction will have additional resources to help them get clean as Hamilton Davis Treatment Services opened its doors Friday with a ribbon cutting.

The new business combines traditional mental health support such as therapy with pharmaceuticals to help those suffering from substance abuse disorders, said CEO Marie Abston.

"We are very passionate and proud to be able to assist in the nation's opiate addiction and overdose epidemic," she said. "As an opiate treatment provider, we're educated on opiate use disorder, providing withdrawal management services to people suffering from a chronic addiction to opiates and opiate derivatives."

Opioids were responsible for 70% of fatal drug overdoses in Mississippi in 2021, according to data from the Mississippi Department of Health, and the vast majority of those opioid-related deaths involved synthetic opiates such as fentanyl. Fatal overdoses linked to synthetic opiates have skyrocketed in the state, a January 2023 report on overdoes deaths states, with 139 deaths recorded in 2019 to 474 in 2021.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show approximately 645,000 opioid overdose deaths have been recorded nationwide from 1999 to 2021.

Tori Clearman, clinical director for Hamilton Davis Treatment Services, said Friday's ribbon cutting was a big step in the right direction for opioid abuse treatment in the Meridian area. Both Abston and COO Essie Florence have shown their commitment to helping others with mental health needs through their mental health and opioid treatment clinics throughout the state, she said, and their efforts make a difference in the communities they serve.

"While this is a significant milestone, it doesn't end today," she said. "We must continue education, advocacy and support for those that need help."

Although they own a number of clinics, Hamilton Davis did not start out as a mental health or substance abuse disorder treatment company, Florence said. Both she and Abston are accountants by trade, and their first business venture was to launch their own accounting firm.

As business grew, Abston began to care for her aunt, who had fallen ill, Florence said, and saw the need in the community for home care services.

"While caring for her, she noticed that the care her aunt was getting wasn't efficient, and she began to say that, "I could do it better,'" she said. "So the vision was born of us operating a Hamilton Davis Home Care agency, which provides care to individuals who are elderly and disabled."

From there, the two business partners decided to take on another community need in the form of mental health clinics. Hamilton Davis Mental Health operates clinics in Flowood, Ellisville, Ridgeland and Hattiesburg, Florence said.

"We are told we are the biggest agency in the state of Mississippi. The biggest private community health center in the state of Mississippi," she said.

After seeing the effects of substance abuse in her personal live, Abston decided to branch out yet again to provide opioid treatment services, Florence said, and, after researching the field, the two launched Hamilton Davis Treatment Services.

Meridian Community Development Director Crag Hitt thanked both Abston and Florence for investing in the city of Meridian and helping those in the community needing their services.

"Thank you for your investment," he said. "Thank you for the service you are going to provide to the community."

Contact Thomas Howard at


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