The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) established Turning Point of Bermuda to provide safe, high-quality, people-centered, compassionate care every day addressing mental health and substance use disorders in an inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment setting.
“The SMART system has enabled us to communicate more effectively throughout the program. Patient files are easily accessible with the press of a button and we are better able to coordinate patient care initiatives. The system is simplistic enough for anyone to grasp even if they are not the most computer savvy. It has modernized our processes and assisted us in providing quality patient care.”
In 2015, there were over 600 reported overdose deaths in Connecticut alone. Of these deaths, 415 have been attributed to heroin use and 186 to fentanyl use .¹‚² According to a survey by the National Institutes of Health nearly 75% of people with drug-use disorders never receive any treatment. “The prevalence and complexity of drug use disorders revealed in this study coupled with the lack of treatment speak to the urgent need for health care professionals to be trained in proper techniques to identify, assess, diagnose, and treat substance use disorders among patients in their practice,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.³
With the number of deaths increasing year over year, APT Foundation is meeting the needs of one community by opening a new treatment facility. This summer their newest location will open in West Haven, CT, a community that has had 15 overdose deaths this past year.4 Since 1970, APT Foundation has been providing outpatient and residential substance use disorder treatment, primary healthcare, outpatient mental health treatment services, medication assisted treatment, family counseling services, and adult education and vocational services. Lynn Madden, APT Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer told the New Haven Register, “Being able to find substance abuse treatment close to where you live has been directly linked to recovery…”.³ Learn more about APT
May 2016 – The Boston Globe reported on a new unorthodox measure that has been taken by Boston Healthcare to prevent overdose deaths. Fatigued and frustrated by multiple overdose occurrences in their waiting rooms each week, Boston Health Care for the Homeless has opened a place specifically to care for these overdose victims. The SPOT (Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment), is a repurposed room in their facility that is staffed by an addiction nurse and case manager. They provide a safe and medically monitored place for people to go for help as they are coming down from a high. The goal is to contribute to the reduction of overdose deaths in the Boston area.²
This solution has received some tough criticisms. Nurse practitioner at Boston Medical Center and the Gavin Foundation Brianne Fitzgerald believes, “It’s ridiculous… it’s one of the highest forms of enabling, and it gives up hope on people who use IV drugs.” However, others still point to the notion of trying different methods to at least help reduce overdose numbers. “…with the level of pandemic we’re dealing with — and I say pandemic because it’s no longer just an epidemic — any effort to get this problem under control is a worthwhile experiment.” said former state senator Steven Tolman.² Read the full article or learn more about SPOT.
April 2016 – Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) has offered medication-assisted treatment for adults with opioid use disorder since 1973. This August they plan to open their newest location, a 350 patient facility in Renton, King County, Washington. This new addition comes on the heels of a 58% increase in heroin related deaths in 2015.¹ Assistant Division Director of King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division Brad Finegood noted that the opening of this clinic is a direct result of the overwhelming need for more treatment facilities in the area. “The problem is growing faster than our ability to build new facilities.”² ETS CEO, Molly Carney, said that methadone and buprenorphine as well as counseling services is a crucial part of treatment for those addicted to opioids.²
However, just offering this services does not solve the larger societal problem of public stigma. Time and time again we see instances of people fighting against the opening of clinics in their respective communities. Business owners and residents often feel concerned when they hear of the possibility of a medication-assisted treatment facility (often misleadingly referred to as just “methadone clinics”) opening near them for fear that an increase in criminal activity will follow. In a Philadelphia Daily News report on a proposed clinic opening they quoted one resident as saying, “We’re not gonna tolerate the existence of this establishment…No community is an appropriate place for a methadone clinic.” The sentiment “not in my back yard” is commonly applied to treatment clinic openings. Logically, it should instead be applied to addressing overdose deaths because those are happening in everyone’s backyard. This is just one of the barriers that advocates, professionals and those in recovery face.
In a powerful statement, Assistant Division Director of King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division, Brad Finegood said, “Public support is going to be very important…One of the biggest battles we are fighting is stigma. People who are opiate dependent are not bad people, they are people who have a sickness and illness. They have a medical condition. Rather than people being afraid, we need the community to rally around the fact that people need treatment. We have a need in our suburban cities and rather than saying we don’t want the services here, we want communities to embrace treatment and treatment that we know it works.”² Shilo Murphy of the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance says that, “If you want to stop overdose deaths…the key is getting rid of the stigma, loving and respecting people who use, supporting them to use with friends, providing them with education, and not shunning them.”¹
The SMART Solution is a 100% paperless electronic health records (EHR) software. This digital health record specializes in opioid addiction treatment programs providing methadone and buprenorphine maintenance. Substance abuse treatment programs choose SMART to improve clinic management and workflow automation. Contact us to learn about streamlining admissions, billing, inventory management, and more.
SMART Management, Inc. 66 Pavilion Avenue 2nd Fl Providence, RI 02905