Every day people with undiagnosed addictions walk into emergency rooms for medical care that may or may not be related to substance abuse. The question is, how many walk out with any kind of intervention into their problem with drugs or alcohol? Are ER physicians and nurses able to identify signs of a substance use disorder? What kind of intervention or treatment for addiction can they provide in the brief time before the patient is discharged? NPR wrote up a study in which Yale physician-researchers tested how effective an ER department might be in conducting brief interventions and referrals to treatment for patients with addictions. The results showed that, with the right tools, emergency room doctors could be crucial first movers in getting patients into comprehensive treatment programs.
Campbell County in Northern KY will include a new substance abuse treatment program in a planned expansion of their detention center, projected to be open in January 2017. The new facilities will include rooms used for substance abuse treatment programs and more space for inmates detoxing from heroin and other drugs. Tentative plans are to create the program in Campbell County for men only and next create a women’s substance abuse treatment program in adjacent Kenton County. County corrections officials have expressed their desire to create an evidence-based treatment program to help address the serious heroin problem plaguing Northern Kentucky.
Participants in Kentucky’s Drug Court system may be allowed to stay on their MAT drug prescriptions, according to a new change in the program’s rules. Previously, those given sentences in Drug Court who were taking MAT medications like Suboxone, methadone, and Vivitrol, had to taper off their prescriptions over a period of six months. That six-month limitation is now gone from the Drug Court Rules, giving KY judges the power to decide whether a defendant may remain on a prescription.
Heroin is not just a Kentucky problem. Two national studies published this month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided evidence that the heroin epidemic is deepening across the country. The problem cuts across occupational demographics, as well as—disturbingly—age demographics, affecting young adults in their 20s more and more.
Louisville’s WFPL News recently produced a public forum on issues related to Kentucky’s heroin epidemic. Experts from various arenas of substance abuse treatment briefly presented on the current status of heroin treatment and incarceration in Kentucky. This was followed by a question-and-answer session in which the experts fielded concerns from addiction treatment professionals and former drug users from the audience. Listen the forum below, and read our summary of the presentation and discussions.
It’s official—Stepworks of London is now open! We’re excited to finally bring our trusted program of 30-day residential addiction treatment to London, KY. We hope you’re excited, too. With a brand-new treatment facility located in the scenic Kentucky countryside, Stepworks is prepared to help you, your loved one, or your client achieve sobriety now.
The wait is almost over: Stepworks of London is ready to begin providing the best addiction care in the region! Our doors will officially open in one week, on Wednesday, April 15. In the meantime, we’re very excited to announce that our waiting list is now open to new clients and referrals! If you are struggling with alcohol or drug use, you can get in touch with a Stepworks team member to reserve a place in our detox and 30-day addiction treatment program at our brand-new facility in London, KY. Call 800-545-9031 to begin the process of enrollment or referral today!
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has highlighted new findings suggesting that a commonly used blood-pressure medication can extend opioid abstinence when used in tandem with other medication-assisted treatments. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, reported that the drug clonidine was useful in improving the results of medication-assisted treatment when combined with buprenorphine, one of the primary drugs used to treat opioid dependence.
Kentucky’s House and Senate remain divided on crucial points of a proposed heroin bill. With this Tuesday, March 24 marking the end of the current legislative session, meaningful action on the KY heroin epidemic might once again be deferred by the state assembly. Lawmakers met this week in a conference committee while the General Assembly was on break and were intent on resolving the disputed measures. The Lexington Herald-Leader now reports that the House and Senate members aren’t budging on several issues, and the assembly will likely pass a much more limited bill if they pass one at all.
In a newly drafted bill to combat the state’s heroin epidemic, KY House members have allocated an additional $10 million for drug treatment programs. If the KY heroin bill is passed by the combined legislature, those funds will be accessible more quickly than previously allocated treatment dollars in the bill, The Courier-Journal reports.