The Opioid Crisis has been an ongoing issue for the past few years. The sheer number of people struggling with addiction and/or dying of an accidental overdose has been increasing over the past five years, resulting in an epidemic. However, it is the social and economic impact in almost every sector of life that makes this a crisis. Children are being left without parents, employers are struggling to find employees and let us not forget the impact on public safety and the courts. There is virtually no area in our community that has been spared significant short- and long-term negative outcomes.
When the scope of the problem is large and the funding to address the issue limited, we really need to ensure that, whenever possible, the interventions utilized have been studied and proven to be the most effective means to achieve the desired outcome. To that end, the medical segment of the Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana has reviewed the most respected and cutting-edge research and evidence-based recommendations put forth by National Professional Societies to provide a local standard for consensus on the treatment of opioid addiction in our area. Shawn Fingerle and a group of other medical and mental health local experts have reviewed all relevant material and have determined that all patients diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD) should be evaluated for medication management. We believe that evidence-based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) should be integrated into all treatment settings and be readily accessible to all patients with OUD. We have further concluded that public officials and policy makers should draft legislation and allocate resources in such a way as to promote increasing our capacity to provide and fund MAT. The Effective and Responsible Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment White Paper has a complete list of recommendations beginning on page eight.
Given that the current Opioid Crisis is just one of the many significant issues facing community leaders and business owners, we believe that through our deliberative vetting process, we have identified the most effective means by which we can address this crisis and facilitate the patient with OUD getting back to the workplace and their family.
To view the newsletter that was sent to Indiana state legislators with this information, click here.
Download The Effective and Responsible Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment White Paper.