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Stop-addiction-stigma

ETS Opens New Clinic to Aid Overdose Stricken County

ETS-Opens-New-ClinicApril 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.”³   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.

Stop-addiction-stigma-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

1.) http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/06/19/22411691/heroin-deaths-in-king-county-up-58-percent-since-last-year-other-opiate-deaths-declining

2.) http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/375877011.html

3.) http://www.substance.com/a-methadone-clinic-not-in-my-neighborhood/9797/

ETS - Evergreen Treatment Services

SMART Management Newsletter – Winter 2010

evergreen treatment services logo newsAnother 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.”