An opioid addiction treatment program in Batavia, New York will be adding methadone to their medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program by August 13.
The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) have been using MAT since 2004 but this will be their first time offering methadone to their patients.
The GCASA has been treating patients in Western New York since 1975. The company originally centered on drug abuse treatment for residents of Genesee County but also helps people from Orleans County as well.
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The GCASA has been offering buprenorphine and naltrexone for years, with some patients seeing great results. However, the medications were not effective for all the patients in addiction treatment programs and another alternative was needed. Adding methadone to their addiction treatment program will not only provide an alternative to the other forms of MAT but will also allow GCASA to expand their reach beyond Genesee and Orleans counties. The GCASA obtained their license to prescribe methadone through the New York State Office Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).
Methadone has been one of the primary methods of MAT in the country. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 10 percent of substance abuse facilities used opioid treatment programs in 2015.
SAMHSA also reported that methadone was given to 21 to 25 percent of patients (356,843 people) in drug addiction treatment programs in the U.S. in 2015, a rapid increase from 227,000 in 2003.
Preliminary reports by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) revealed that there were 49 outpatient visits related to opioid-related overdoses and two deaths in Genesee County in 2017. The reports also indicated that 381 people entered an opioid abuse addiction treatment program in Genesee County for the first time last year.
A joint community health assessment, improvement and services was created in 2016 by Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties as part of the NYSDOH Prevention Agenda to help improve the health of New York residents.
The priorities on their agenda include preventing chronic diseases, establishing a healthy and protected environment with a strong focus on women, infants and children and advancing their mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
The second focus area of the agenda includes working with collaborative organizations in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to create a media campaign to promote a social media page that advertises drug rehab programs and mental health services in Western New York.
The NYSDOH also implemented an opioid overdose prevention plan. It aims to advertise thriving interventions across county lines of the region while collaborating with agencies in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The measures for intervention include coalition building, prescriber education, supply reduction, drug and alcohol treatment, involvement from the pharmacies, community based prevention education services and an evaluations.
The objective would be to create an agreement between all three counties to create a formula for lowering opioid-related overdoses and lower the access to illegal prescription drugs.