New Addiction Treatment in Cody, Wyoming Targets Painkiller Abuse

New Addiction Treatment in Cody, Wyoming Targets Painkiller Abuse

A new addiction treatment in Cody, Wyoming is changing the way that individuals with substance use disorders treat their pain.

The new addiction treatment program has been implemented by the behavioral health department at the Cody Regional Health, a healthcare system that has been serving the people of Wyoming for over 75 years.

The treatment program focuses on providing medications that are not habit forming and that will not alter the mental state of the individuals who have a substance use disorder. This allows these recovering patients to start or continue to manage their pain levels but at the same time have low risks of becoming addicted.

Heidi Hess, the director of the behavioral health department at Cody Regional Health, stated that she believes that individuals who are legitimately experiencing acute and/or chronic pain don’t have a choice but to take a painkiller medication in order to function.

“We can give [the patients] a medication that doesn’t make them high,” she said, adding that consequently, that will be key in keeping these patients from wanting to use more than they should.

The new addiction treatment program may greatly assist the local community, considering a new report has shown that prescription drug abuse across the state of Wyoming is a public health problem that mirrors the country’s.

The report, released last month by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, revealed that past-year nonmedical prescription drug use in the state is comparable to the U.S. average and affecting primarily young adults, between 18-25 years old.

When it comes to past-year use of prescription pain relievers for nonmedical reasons, there were no statistical differences between the rates observed in Wyoming and the rest of the country.

The report also showed that when it comes to just opioids, the problem is even worse — Wyoming had an opioid prescribing rate that surpassed the nation’s, from 2006 to 2016. Within the same period, Park County, where Cody is located, had the third highest rate of opioid prescription dispensed in pharmacies.

Dubbed ‘Telling the Story of Opioid Use in Wyoming,’ the report highlighted that opioid addiction is affecting people of every gender, age, and race across the state.

The new data has prompted the… (continue reading)