New medical assisted treatment program launched by Community Care Services aims to treat opioid and prescription drug dependency
Opioids have become a major public health crisis here in Michigan and across the nation. A report by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Apriss Health concluded that there were 30 percent more drug-related overdose deaths in 2015 than in 2013, with the largest number of deaths occurring among men aged 26-35 and 46-55.
This report also revealed that several Downriver communities, including Lincoln Park, Ecorse, Southgate, Woodhaven and Wyandotte, made the top 10 during the period of 2013-2015.
While opioids are prescribed to help those struggling with pain, they can quickly become an addiction for many users because not only do they relieve pain, but they change how the brain responds to it. This is possible through the creation of artificial endorphins that help replace feelings of pain. With prolonged use, the body can become dependent on artificial endorphins, leading to addiction. Opioids are often prescribed for both common and more serious health reasons, such as dental procedures, injury, surgery, and long-term conditions such as chronic pain and cancer. The most common forms of opioids include hydrocodone, opium, codeine, heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.
Opioid abuse can bring on a wide range of both physical and emotional symptoms, such as poor coordination, drowsiness, shallow breathing, constipation, depression, irritability, mood swings, and poor decision making. Likewise, if those who are addicted find themselves without the drug for extended periods of time, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, including: sweating, nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, shaking, severe pain, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. If you have someone close to you who has been prescribed opioids and you feel there may be signs of abuse, be sure to monitor them if possible and be able to step in and suggest help if necessary.
In an effort to better serve this crisis in the downriver communities, Community Care Services has recently launched a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program to help those who are addicted reach their freedom from opioids as well as other substance use disorders. This program combines both medication and outpatient counseling and behavioral therapy to create a more enhanced and well-rounded method of recovery for those who are not seeing results from an abstinence only approach. Patients will see their assigned doctor once a week, as well as participate in both individual and group therapy sessions while taking prescribed medication. These medications will vary depending on the patient and their individual needs. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and would like to learn more about the MAT program, please call 313-389-7500.
The road to recovery is one that may be very difficult, but it is possible. To offer the necessary support and resources for that journey, CCS is hosting their third annual Reality of Recovery event on Monday, Sept. 24, in observance of National Recovery Month. This is a free community forum to provide hope, resources, information and foster positive conversation. This year, our featured speaker will be Ken Daniels, longtime Detroit Red Wings announcer who lost his son Jamie to overdose in 2016. Joining Daniels will be Macomb County District Court Judge Linda Davis, a founding member of Families Against Narcotics (FAN), originator of the Hope Not Handcuffs program and Ty Guthrie, the Program Director for Touchstone Recovery Homes who began his own recovery journey in a Touchstone home in August of 2010 after battling heroin addiction and homelessness for over 15 years. The event is free to the public, but registration is required at www.comcareserv.org.
Susan Kozak has been a licensed social worker for the past 31 years and currently serves as the executive director of Community Care Services, a position she has held since 2011.