Community Based Intervention for Opioid Use Disorder

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Five days ago, on Thanksgiving here in the United States, the Journal of Rural Health released a report on a remarkable study. The Journal of Rural Health is the official medical journal of the American Rural Health Association. We have talked about that organization before on this blog. Outpatient methadone rehab in Florida and outpatient buprenorphine rehab in Florida are both closely associated with the issue of health care access in rural areas. The best outpatient medication-assisted treatment program in Florida is in Panama City, Florida. That is in the panhandle region of Florida, located near many rural areas, including the states of Alabama and Georgia. The Journal of Rural Health was one of my important sources when we discussed the problems with patient access to treatment in rural areas, areas where we see percentages of patients with access to treatment below 40% in many places. Anyone who is interested in outpatient methadone rehab in Florida should talk to our counselors to see if the Florida Spring Wellness and Recovery buprenorphine MAT program could be helpful. Methadone and buprenorphine are both safe and proven medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, and they are used and administered slightly differently, but more information is available for prospective patients. 

As I have said many times, and as this new study in the Journal of Rural Health states, “Understanding knowledge of and attitudes toward medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) is important to changing the conversation about this devastating public health problem.” On this blog, we talk about shifting attitudes all the time. Professionals in the recovery space work to change attitudes amongst the public and also amongst people in positions of power who could help improve the situation in this country, where an ongoing epidemic is killing many thousands of people on a monthly basis. The study we are looking at was done using data from the IT MATTERS program. IT MATTERS is the Implementing Technology and Medication Assisted Treatment Team Training in Rural Colorado study and it described interventions in rural health care that were designed by people in that area. Baseline and post-intervention surveys were used to gauge success and strategies both during and after patients were in treatment. Many of you will be familiar with what MAT is, but for anyone new here, MAT is medication-assisted treatment, which is the blanket term for both outpatient methadone rehabilitation, outpatient buprenorphine treatment, and inpatient versions of these programs. 

The study ultimately found that attitudes and beliefs about medication-assisted treatment are highly correlated with exposure to and knowledge of actual MAT programs. For many people who do not understand MAT, switching a person from heroin on to methadone might be seen as substituting one addiction for another, but the reality is that stopping drugs of abuse and seeking medical treatment is the definition of successful recovery, and people who see this process for themselves are much more likely to understand that. Community-based interventions in rural areas are important for that reason, but they are also necessary because rural areas have incredibly low rates of treatment access and participation. More people need to get into treatment in rural areas, and we also need more treatment options available to people in rural areas. Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery is trying to change this, and anyone interested in an outpatient medication rehab program can call and speak to our counselors. They accept both insured patients and those people who will be self-paying for treatment.

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)

 

References

CURCIJA, K. et al. Does a Rural Community-Based Intervention Improve Knowledge and Attitudes of Opioid Use Disorder and Medication-Assisted Treatment? A Report From the IT MATTTRs Study. The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association, [s. l.], 2020. DOI 10.1111/jrh.12545. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mnh&AN=33244841&authtype=geo&geocustid=s8475741&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Acesso em: 1 dez. 2020.