How a hospital in Portland is treating addiction in a way it has never been

12-18-2018 Posted in Addiction, Drug Addiction, Substance Abuse

Healthcare centers in the United States have been fiercely trying to reinvent their ways to help patients overcome addiction. Over the past few years, one such hospital that has made meaningful strides in this regard is the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) located in Portland, Oregon. According to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the medical staff of the infirmary has completely changed the way they view and address addiction.

Honora Englander, an assistant professor of medicine at OHSU observed that patients seeking medical intervention for a complication arising out of substance abuse would come back months after their discharge to seek treatment for another complication. This cycle would continue and finally, end with the death of the patient.

Taking cognizance of the complexity of the issue, Englander, along with the hospital fraternity, evolved a program targeted towards filling the gaps in the treatment process. She found out that majority of the patients dealing with addiction wanted to either quit or reduce their intake of drugs. Further, if given an opportunity, they would like to start treatment interventions like medication-assisted therapy (MAT). This prompted Englander to start an initiative called Improving Addiction Care Team, or IMPACT program in July 2015.


What this program did was refer willing patients, who were already undergoing treatment, to a dedicated team of doctors and social workers. These patients would start by receiving MAT in the hospital and then soon after discharge, be handed over to community providers to help them continue with their recovery. They also got a chance to interact with mentors who had braved addiction and came out winners.

Christina Nicolaidis, an associate professor of medicine and public health at OHSU said, “With the IMPACT model, people were really able to see how this is like any other disorder that we treat in the hospital.” She further added that with pertinent policies and procedures in place, a difference can very well be made in the lives of the patients.

The team is now all set to expand their operations. With the help of state funding, they have envisaged a program wherein local doctors can request IMPACT members to review their cases and offer feedback. In the near future, they plan to include local hospitals also in their program to spread their reach.

What is MAT and why is it so popular?

One of the most widely sought after treatments for substance use disorders (SUD), MAT is the use of medications coupled with counselling and behavioral therapies to treat the condition. It uses medications such as buprenorphine and methadone which have proven to be effective in treating SUDs.

Studies have shown that a patient’s chances of recovery increases manifold if they are on MAT. It is known to decrease the chance of a person falling prey to opioid overdose. Moreover, the therapy has proved its mettle in preventing HIV and related infections.

Help is just a call away

Drug addiction can be treated provided appropriate medications, psychotherapies and counselling is administered to the patient in a timely fashion. If you or someone you know is fighting an addiction to synthetic opioids or drugs of any kind, it is time to seek professional help at 24/7 Drug Addiction Help.

Call our 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline 866-403-5607 to know about the best treatment service providers in your area. Our trained representatives can help you access the finest drug addiction treatment centers in the U.S. that provide evidence-based intervention plans. You can also chat online with one of our representatives to know about the most credible drug addiction rehabs in and around your locality.

Call Now Button