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Oregon hospital helps destigmatize addiction by encouraging doctors to treat it like any other condition

Oregon hospital helps destigmatize addiction by encouraging doctors to treat it like any other condition

Addiction is like any other disease that a person might develop because of failing health, injuries or environmental impact. But sadly, it is rarely treated in the same manner – associated stigma and discrimination often prevent people from seeking the required treatment. As a result, a year or two down the line, the condition of the users usually becomes from bad to worse. To manage the situation, patients need proper addiction disorder treatment or they might suffer from further complications. Fortunately, a hospital in Portland, Oregon has taken the initiative to treat its patients of addiction as no different from others coming to the hospital with an affliction.

Project Improving Addiction Care Team (IMPACT), initiated in July 2015, revolves around community involvement. If a patient with substance abuse problem visiting the hospital is desirous to get better, the hospital can refer him or her to a set of doctors, workers and counselors, who are specifically employed for treating addiction disorders. Furthermore, MAT may be initiated in the hospital premises itself. Thereafter, the patient can be transitioned to community health care providers for further care, follow-up and treatment.

Project IMPACT was the brainchild of Honora Englander, assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and physician at its attached hospital, who witnessed patients slipping through the gaps in the medical system and ending up dead a few years down the line. With a desire to amend the system, she conducted a survey. The findings were conclusive – two thirds of the patients either wanted to quit or reduce their substance use and many others wished they would be prescribed treatments like medication-assisted therapy (MAT). MAT is a standard for opioid-addicted patients and includes therapy alongside treatment with methadone and buprenorphine. That was all that Englander needed to embark on her plan.

Involvement of community health care

The program also ensures the involvement of a mentor who suffered from an addiction in the past, but is now clean, and can provide emotional and social support. Encouraged by the success they have achieved, Englander and her team are now in the process of expanding the reach of IMPACT. Their OHSU ECHO aims to connect primary care providers in far-flung areas and with little expertise with OHSU specialists for live, weekly video teleconference. Solutions would be aired through the virtual sessions. Englander and her team are also in the process of expanding their reach to small, rural areas. “Our experience is that the interpersonal nature of [the IMPACT model] is very valuable, but we also understand that in smaller communities that might not be possible…So we want to provide a platform where, whatever the local tendencies might be, you’re welcome to participate and cross-train,” informed Englander.

Providing hope and recovery

Oxycodone is an opioid drug prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It targets the brain in affecting how the body feels or acts in response to pain. Oxycodone use can be habit-forming and therefore, it’s essential that patients do not take it beyond the prescribed limits. It is equally essential to inform the doctor if anyone experiences any side effects like nausea. For those who think they might be addicted to this pain medication, it’s advisable to seek treatment at the earliest and not attempt withdrawal at home.

Sovereign Health is a leading substance abuse treatment provider in the United States, offering evidence-based oxycodone addiction treatment to both men and women. Our drug-addiction treatment facilities are located in serene environments conducive to recovery. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-901-9644 or chat online for further information on the best treatment for oxycodone addiction for you or your loved one.