Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths and the number of unintentional drug overdose deaths continues to increase at an alarming rate. In Belmont County during 2016, 24 individuals lost their lives due to a drug overdose. While the drug epidemic ravages our communities the treatment options are limited. However, due to the magnitude of the area drug problem, several community organizations have collaborated to find a solution.
Crossroads Counseling Services, Barnesville Hospital, Ohio Hills Health Services, Mental Health and Recovery Board, and Belmont Professional Associates have worked together during the past year to explore treatment options. Recently, they opened Addiction Services of Eastern Ohio which offers an array of services for those suffering from addiction. The office is located at the lower level of the Barnesville Hospital Medical Center.
“Typically, the Barnesville Hospital Emergency Department would see a couple of overdoses each year,” said Joseph Jeffries, R.Ph., Barnesville Hospital Pharmacy Director. “However as the drug problem grew it became common for there to be an overdose a week. It is apparent the drug epidemic is in our region and it is negatively impacting our families and our communities.”
There are three components to the services offered at Addiction Services of Eastern Ohio include Withdrawal Maintenance, Behavioral Counseling and Medication Assisted Treatment.
Withdrawal Maintenance-The Withdrawal Maintenance is a process of substance detoxification that helps a person who is actively using opiates, heroin, alcohol, Suboxone or Subutex. The client is offered medication to help deal with the discomfort of withdrawal while remaining in their home environment, instead of an inpatient facility. This allows the person to continue working or contributing to society while detoxing from substance use. The client reports to the center daily for their medicines and are screened for substance use throughout the entire process, which typically lasts 7 to 10 days. There are also support groups that are offered so participants can talk to others who are going through the same process.
Behavioral Counseling – Individual, Group, and Intensive Outpatient counseling is also offered at the Barnesville location, for those community members who are not able to travel to other locations for counseling and behavior modification.
Medication Assisted Treatment- (MAT) is appropriate for those who are addicted to Opiates or Alcohol. Vivitrol blocks the receptors in the brain that allows a person to get high. This is a non-addictive option for medication for those clients that need assistance with the physical cravings for opiods, heroin, alcohol, Suboxone or Subutex. MAT, combined with behavior modification, has been proven to be the best option for recovery.
“If you, a family member, or friend is struggling with addiction but are unable or unwilling to enter an inpatient facility this program may be the solution for you,” said Shannon Watson, Executive Director, Crossroads Counseling Services. “Those individuals that are unable to remain sober due to physical cravings are appropriate for the MAT portion. This combination of services is appropriate for anyone who is struggling to remain sober.”
The Addiction Services of Eastern Ohio offers a Nurse Practitioner to administer the medical intervention. The behavioral health component of the program is administered by a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW). Dr. Russell Lee-Wood, Ohio Hills Health Services, is the Medical Director. Suboxone or Subutex is not offered at this location. For additional information please call 740-425-5780. Crossroads Counseling Services also offers a 24 hour hotline in case of emergencies 1-800-202-3900.
Photo- (l-r) Members of the Addiction Services of Ohio Team- Joseph Jeffries, R.Ph., Pharmacy Director, Barnesville Hospital, Shelley Campbell, Secretary, Crossroads Counseling Services, Debbie McGlothlin, Therapist, MSW, LISW, Crossroads Counseling Services and Megan Britton, FNP-BC, Belmont Professional Associates