County health officials consider immediate addiction treatment in ERs

County health officials consider immediate addiction treatment in ERs


ERIE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE PROPOSING ANOTHER APPROACH TO ADDICTION TREATMENT—GIVING EMERGENCY ROOM PATIENTS IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ADDICTION-FIGHTING MEDICINE. THE COUNTY IS STILL LOOKING FOR FUNDING, AND NOTHING HAS BEEN ROLLED OUT YET…. BUT THE HEALTH COMMISSIONER IS OPTIMISTIC THIS COULD WORK. NEWS 4’S JENN SCHANZ JOINS US WITH THE DETAILS. JENN? IF IT GETS THE GREEN LIGHT…. PATIENTS WOULD BE GIVEN BUPRENORPHRINE OR SUBOXONE… WHICH IS A BRAND OF IT… RIGHT IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM. THIS MEDICINE HELPS TREAT ADDICTION TO OPIOIDS. SOME SMALL STUDIES HAVE TESTED THIS… AND FOUND THOSE GIVEN THE MEDICINE IN THE ER ARE MORE LIKELY TO FIND AND STICK WITH TREATMENT. ((“ADDICTION IS A REALLY COMPLICATED DISEASE.”)) WHICH MEANS FINDING A SOLUTION ISN’T EASY EITHER. DR. MICHAEL MANKA RUNS THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT AT ECMC. HE’S SEEN A LARGE SPIKE IN ER VISITS PERTAINING TO OPIOID ABUSE. THE COUNTY’S OPIOID TASK FORCE IS CONSIDERING MAKING ER’S A FIRST STEP TOWARD MEDICINE-BASED RECOVERY… BY GIVING PATIENTS WHO COME INTO THE ER FOR OPIOID RELATED PROBLEMS… ACCESS TO MEDICINE LIKE SUBOXONE, WHICH CAN HELP COMBAT THE NEED FOR OPIOIDS. ((“IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. WE KNOW THAT MANY WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH OPIOID ADDICTION COME TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT EITHER BECAUSE THEY’RE SEEKING TREATMENT OR BECAUSE THEY HAVE A COMPLICATION OF THEIR OPIOID ADDICTION…THIS IS THE PERFECT SETTING TO START ON THE PATH TO RECOVERY.”)) DR. MANKA SAYS THIS COULD POTENTIALLY OPEN THE FLOOD GATES TO PATIENTS SEEKING THE MEDICINE FOR THE WRONG REASONS. ((“SOMETIMES IT’S VERY CHALLENGING TO TRY AND GET INTO THEIR HEAD TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR REAL MOTIVATION FOR BEING HERE IS.”)) PHYSICIANS WOULD ALSO NEED SPECIALIZED TRAINING TO BE ABLE TO HAND OUT THE MEDICINE IN THE ER. SOME SMALL STUDIES INDICATE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO DRUGS LIKE SUBOXONE HAVE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON A PATIENT’S LIKELIHOOD OF GETTING SOBER. BUT COUNTY LEADERS SAY IF THIS PILOT PROGRAM IS A GO… IT CAN’T WORK ALONE. ((“IF THERE’S NOWHERE TO FOLLOW THEM UP IN THE COMMUNITY, THE PROJECT WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL.”)) A FUNDING PROPOSAL HAS BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE COUNTY. ALL TOLD THIS WILL LIKELY TAKE 4 TO 6 MONTHS TO ROLL OUT IF IT GETS THE FUNDING. DR. MANKA, WHO IS WORKING WITH COUNTY LEADERS ON GETTING AHEAD OF THIS CRISIS…. NOTED ECMC HAS COUNSELORS TO HELP PROVIDE MORE SPECIALIZED CARE FOR OPIOID-RELATED CASES… BUT WITH THE SHEER NUMBER OF PATIENTS…. IT’S BEEN AN UPHILL BATTLE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *