Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) uses the SMART Solution, a 100% paperless EHR, as the patient record management system within their opioid treatment programs. This Washington-based addiction treatment provider works to transform the lives of individuals and their communities through active treatment and social services since 1973. Their services include methadone, or buprenorphine-based medications combine with wraparound services, like counseling, urine drug screens, acupuncture, and engagement with medical providers. ETS serves over 1500 patients at their three clinics in King, Thurston, and Grays Harbor counties. And their REACH Team provides street-based outreach services to vulnerable, chronically homeless adults with addiction in downtown Seattle.
Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) has been ahead of the opioid addiction treatment curve for over 20 years with their REACH Program. This program focuses on serving the homeless and addicted with outreach and in-depth case management using a variety of harm-reduction approaches. The primary goal is to meet clients where they are in their recovery process, and ultimately help them to achieve successful and healthy lives. An important part of REACH services is that they are not contingent upon a client’s sobriety or abstinence. This allows addicted participants the opportunity to keep fighting for their recovery even though they may have been overcome by their addiction during the process.
Sound familiar? The principles of the REACH program are much like that of the later established LEAD Program. With origins in King County, Washington the LEAD Program is privately funded by multiple sponsors and partners with ETS to help treat participants of the program. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program is gaining clout and spreading to law enforcement agencies across the US. Instead of the cyclical process of addiction arrest, jail time, release, repeat – officials are beginning to embrace the idea that treatment rather than mandatory jail time will produce the long-term recovery results that society should really be striving toward.
The “addiction epidemic” as it has been rightfully named, has been front and center in the political realm as well. Presidential hopefuls are sharing their intended plans and President Obama announced that the 2017 budget will include $1.1 billion to combat opioid use disorders with expanded access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. Nevertheless, there is still a segment of the American population that refuses to accept treatment facilities into their communities, mostly for lack of opioid treatment awareness.
This past week PBS aired a powerful 2 hour Frontline Documentary, Chasing Heroin. ETS was one of the facilities featured as the documentary followed a patient into treatment. This film follows the stories of multiple people from varied backgrounds, all fighting the same fight but at different points in their recovery. A core message was that addiction is a disease not a crime and should be treated as such. Those affected are most likely to achieve success when they choose to, not when they are forced to. One police officer, who is involved in the LEAD program said that she acts as more of a “case manager” when interacting with individuals suffering from addiction. Encouraging, uplifting and caring.
Chasing Heroin is enlightening and inspiring look into the state of addiction in the U.S. It can be viewed online atPBS.org.
Evergreen Treatment Services ( ETS ) Executive Director Molly Carney and Research and Training Manager K. Michelle Peavy wrote an article entitled “A lifesaving drug for opioid addicts, but it’s not easy to get” that was published in the Seattle Times. It detailed their experiences in the treatment field; the importance of Naloxone (Narcan) and the pressing need for a shift in our nation’s perception of “addicts.”
Often reported in the news Naloxone (Narcan) is helping to save the lives of people who would otherwise succumb to overdose. The regulations about obtaining this life-saving medicine are hopefully expanding to other categories of people besides police and EMTs who are likely to need to administer Naloxone. Nevertheless, ETS makes the point that the focus should be on the public’s perception and treatment of people affected by addiction.
ETS Training Manager K. Michelle Peavy
Funding of recovery support is often outweighed by public opinion that finds it’s ‘not my fault, not my problem’. Looking at the associated costs of treatment, the taxpayers may prefer to have their tax dollars spent on projects or causes that are perceived to be more deserving. However, it is important to consider the cost of not providing treatment. Whether or not one feels that the community should be responsible for helping addicted individuals, one should not outweigh the very real and steep costs associated with individuals who are not in treatment; ER visits, jail time, etc. According to the State Department of Social and Health Services, “the risk of felony conviction is 83 percent lower for those in methadone treatment for more than one year, compared to opioid addicts who are untreated.” The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) estimates that illicit drug abuse costs our nation over 193 billion dollars annually in the form of crime, lost work productivity and healthcare.
In short the authors deduced that, “We need an integrated approach, which includes expanded access to treatment, to drive down rates of overdose and address opioid addiction.”
“Evergreen Treatment Services is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which has been delivering evidence-based addiction treatment services in Western Washington since 1973. Since our founding, we have earned a nationwide reputation for excellence in our work. Our interdisciplinary team of professionals includes clinicians with advanced degrees in medicine, psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, and counseling.
ETS uses a comprehensive approach to treatment which combines medication assisted treatment with wrap-around services such as counseling, mental health care, and case management services.
Another prestigious treatment facility has selected SMART Software, and this has expanded our reach to the USA’s West Coast. Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) in Seattle and Olympia, WA installed SMART in April, 2009. Evergreen Treatment is a private, nonprofit organization which has been delivering evidence-based addiction treatment services to citizens in Western Washington since 1973. Led by Ron Jackson, M.S.W., Executive Director and Sam Cullison, M. D., Medical Director, ETS has earned a nationwide reputation for excellence in the treatment of opioid dependence and other addictive disorders. A staff of over 80 professionals currently provides treatment to approximately 900 patients at three clinics.
Since its beginning in 1989 the research department has been an integral part of overall agency operations. Under the direction of Betsy Wells, Ph.D., the clinic’s research team has been involved in a number of important studies designed to enhance understanding of treatment of addictive disorders. Over the past 10 years, ETS’ research department has played a principal role in over 11 major federally-funded research projects on topics ranging from the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of cocaine dependence, to brief interventions for HIV risk reduction among injection drug users, to the impact of contingency management on methadone treatment outcomes. The results of these and other studies have been published in prominent peer-review professional journals.
Ron Jackson is on the National Steering and Executive Committees for National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and recently spoke on the potential of EMR’s for research purposes. Research funding has been provided by government agencies, private foundations and corporations. Ron Jackson is also on the AATOD Board of Directors, another position that recognizes his expertise in the field of substance abuse treatment. ETS performed a great deal of due diligence before selecting SMART. According to Ron Jackson, “We wanted a product that would move us more effectively into a new era. I was actually a slow adapter until we met that one that met all our needs. Ninety percent of our patients are public paid, and our provider needed to provide billing and accounting that our homemade system couldn’t accommodate. We also needed a system that integrated multiple treatment units including a treatment van.”