When someone survives an opiate overdose, the next logical step is opiate addiction treatment. However, that can be hard to access for many addicts. In many cases, once someone leaves the hospital, they head home to the same environment in which they were using drugs. Most overdose survivors get a referral for treatment, but there’s no way to make sure they follow through. As a result, this can lead to a cycle of overdose, hospitalization, and overdose again.
Research has shown that offering opiate addiction treatment immediately after an overdose can help stop this cycle. In exciting news, one local hospital in Florida has taken this information and run with it.
New Frontiers in Opiate Addiction Treatment
At JFK Medical Center, Palm Beach County, Florida, doctors and nurses have seen thousands of overdoses. Back in 2017, they started planning a new program to combat this. In February 2020, just a few months ago, they officially opened a new opiate addiction treatment unit! Here’s how it works:
When someone overdoses and they make it to the ER, usually they are stabilized and then discharged. At JFK’s new Addiction Stabilization Unit, the care doesn’t end there. Anyone who overdoses in the county can be transported directly to the unit. From there, they are stabilized from the overdose. Afterward, they have access to detox medications, psychiatrists, social workers, and other staff members who help the patient come up with a long-term plan. When an overdose survivor decides to seek opiate addiction treatment, the facility transports them directly to a longer-term treatment center.
This new program represents a shift in the way we think about overdoses. This program recognizes that the overdose is just part of the problem- to get real results, we have to offer quality opiate addiction treatment rather than treating the symptoms of addiction.
Treatment: More Than Just Stabilization
Addiction treatment isn’t just about reversing an overdose. Of course, this is the most critical first step- to have a chance at recovery, an addict needs a chance at life. But after the overdose is reversed, so much more is necessary. Quality treatment includes:
- Medications to make the withdrawals and detox comfortable and safe
- Medical treatment for underlying health issues caused by opiate abuse, or that may have led to addiction.
- Individual and group therapy to help replace addiction with positive coping skills
- A support network in the community
- Psychiatric services to address mental health
Where Can I Get Help?
One of the critical parts of getting help is finding a drug rehab program that offers this comprehensive approach. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer an overdose to decide it’s time to seek recovery. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer personalized addiction treatment for opiates, alcohol, and any other substance that can be addictive. We can help if you’re looking for more than just a temporary “band-aid” for the problem. Give us a call today to find out more about what we offer as an evidence-based, comprehensive treatment facility.