Opioid Treatment Program Coming To Cache Valley
For years, Utah has consistently ranked in the top ten for states with the most prescription overdose deaths. One way the government has been able to lower these deaths is by opening opioid treatment programs throughout the state.
Dr. Eric Barker, the medical director for Intermountain DaySpring Clinic - Logan, says that for Cache Valley residents that seek treatment, the closest program currently available is in Ogden –a 45-minute drive outside the valley. But in April, Logan Regional Hospital will be officially opening their own opioid treatment program.
“Opioid treatment programs have been shown in a number of studies to reduce overdose death, to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as to improve employment and housing," Dr. Barker said. "We’re going to be doing a great service for both those patients as well as the community.”
By opening this program in Logan, Cache Valley residents who suffer from opioid-use disorder and abuse will be able to travel a shorter distance to receive treatment. This is important because for the first three months of the program, individuals have to be seen in person six days a week in order to meet with doctors and counselors, take drug screening tests and receive the medication they need. For those who have to travel to Ogden to do that, it can be challenging to stay motivated in the program.
Once a successful individual has achieved 1-2 years of stable recovery they are able to discontinue the treatment program. But, Andrew Wallace, a substance-use disorder counselor, believes that substance abuse should be continually treated for a lifetime.
“There is a lot of people who have been in treatment and after some abstinence, they have relapsed and went back to the drug and as a result have died from overdose, so we at Intermountain have joined the fight by opening our clinic here in Logan,” Wallace said.
Logan’s Opioid Treatment Program is currently open for transferring patients but will open to the public allowing newcomers to enroll on April 16.