A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A Message From Our CEO
September is National Recovery Month, a nation-wide observance promoting the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for substance use and mental disorders. It is a time to recognize the power of recovery through treatment and mental health services, and combat the stigmatization and myths surrounding substance use disorder and mental health. With available treatment and services, it allows a path to recovery and for our community to live healthy and productive lives.
In 2016, 23 million people were struggling with addiction, and every year it is known that only about 10% of these individuals receive help. Despite 2008’s Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), parity in insurance coverage for substance use disorder is still not well understood or enforced. It is difficult to imagine individuals not receiving medical attention for physical ailments, however, for those suffering with substance use and mental disorders, it is a barrier they continue to face.
This year, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced that Texas has been awarded $27.4 million in federal funds to combat opioid use disorders. The grant, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will boost Texas’ efforts aimed at preventing and treating prescription and illicit opioid dependence. This funding will be used for prevention, training, outreach, treatment, and recovery support services, helping an estimated 14,000 people over a two-year period. As of 2016, Texas also made naloxone, a life-saving drug to prevent opioid overdose, available without prescription at any Walgreens pharmacy in the state.
With more states recognizing the need for funding recovery efforts, it encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. National Recovery Month is not only a time to recognize and celebrate those in recovery, but also the community and providers that support the process. This year, the theme for National Recovery Month is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” which emphasizes the importance of having family and community support to encourage paths to recovery. Read more in our Program Highlightsection on how Integral Care is working with our community to promote recovery with Medication Assisted Therapy and our Naloxone Initiative.
Chief Executive Officer
Narcotic Treatment Program
Integral Care’s Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP) provides adults who live with substance use disorder or are addicted to opioids, opiates or heroin with a safe place to recover through medication assisted treatment. The program became licensed as a DSHS licensed facility in 1991 and currently serves 345 individuals, with each client participating in individual counseling. This counseling consists of topics including Addiction and the Brain, Basic Nutrition, Tobacco Cessation, Myths and Facts of Methadone and Buprenorphine, Sexually Transmitted Infections/Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Hepatitis ABC Education, Triggers and Cravings and Orientation to the clinic. In addition to counseling, clients are under the treatment of either Methadone or Buprenorphine, medications that assist in the treatment of opioid dependency. NTP also partners with Lifesteps, providing case management and education surrounding pregnancy and postpartum support for women participating in the program. NTP currently staffs 6 full time caseworkers, 2 full time LVN nurses and a part-time Psychiatrist.
In June 2017, Integral Care launched a pilot Naloxone Initiative at NTP, Ambulatory Detox, and the C.A.R.E. program. Twenty-five staff members received training to educate clients within Integral Care and have already trained over 205 clients in Overdose Prevention. Approximately 70 kits of Naloxone have been distributed through C.A.R.E. outreach as well as the Integral Care pharmacy, where they are available free of charge. Since the program began, the Naloxone Initiative has saved 7 lives through reversal of opioid overdose.
Medication Assisted Therapy
With funding from the Community Care Collaborative, Integral Care is partnering with CommUnityCare to launch a new Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) program to help individuals with heroin or other opioid addiction.
MAT is proven to be clinically effective and significantly reduces the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT uses medications, including buprenorphine and naloxone (suboxone), coupled with counseling and other supports to help individuals get on a path to recovery. The MAT program is designed to expand access to treatment by training Primary Care Providers (PCP) to treat and manage patients with consultation and support from psychiatrists certified in addiction. CommUnityCare provides the PCP while Integral Care provides psychiatric services and wrap-around supports such as counseling and case management to help clients while they are in treatment and once they are on a path to recovery. Peer specialists who have recovered from opioid abuse provide coaching and mentoring to clients in the MAT program. With their lived experience, peers are able to support and advocate for clients in recovery.
The MAT program is another way our community is working together to help individuals rebuild their lives and achieve well-being.