CleanSlate Blog

The Veterans Administration is Making Progress on the Opioid Battlefield

by Tracey Cohen, M.D. | May 20, 2019

May is National Military Appreciation Month, when Americans are asked to recognize current and former U.S. service members as a symbol of unity. The observation culminates in Memorial Day, when we honor those who died in the pursuit of freedom.

But veterans are suffering on the opioid battlefield at home in far greater numbers than on any battlefield overseas.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans and service members of all ages are disproportionately afflicted with opioid use disorder (OUD). The VA estimates that 68,000 veterans are addicted to opioids, a threefold increase in 15 years. They’re ten times more likely than the general public to abuse opioids and twice as likely to overdose.

Addressing the opioid epidemic as it relates to the active duty and veteran population comes with added complications. This includes the stigma that service members worry about when they seek help within the insular military community.

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Mental Illness Isn't Crazy

by Malissa Barbosa, D.O. | May 17, 2019

May is Mental Health Month. As we celebrate everything that is Spring, we should also take time to consider the 43.8 million Americans who live with a mental illness. Sometimes, people cope with more than just one mental illness.

One of those 43.8 million people may be you.

Society has projected an image of what mental illness looks like. Often it is the “crazy” homeless person mumbling to himself or the seemingly out of control person who should obviously be committed, right?

Those are the displays of mental illness that are easier to observe. However, hiding in plain sightis the “perfect” carpool mom secretly struggling with depression. Or the star male athlete suffering froman eating disorder. Or the “easygoing” friend who doesn’t tell you he’s crippled by anxiety.

How many lives must be lost to suicide before we realize that mental illness is a pervasive problem

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Tears of Joy: the Quiet, Inspiring Revolution of Drug Courts

by Brian Coonan | May 14, 2019

National Drug Court Month, observed throughout May, may seem insignificant to those who don’t understand the critical role that drug courts play in our society. But drug courts symbolize an approach to addiction that has been quietly revolutionary.

What exactly do drug courts do?

In short, drug courts leverage the judicial system to keep people engaged in treatment long enough to be successful.

What this means to individuals and society at large is extraordinary. Drug courts have proven to be places of hope, helping people repair their lives, reconnect with their families and engage in long-term recovery. Tears of joy often take place within the walls of drug courts, as people graduate from programs and pivot to becoming productive citizens.

Far from being bureaucratic drudgeries, drug courts have become one of the most successful strategies for cutting crime and saving both lives and tax dollars.

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A Reassuring Mother's Day Message for Pregnant Women Struggling with Addiction

by Jennifer McMahon | May 9, 2019

People with addiction to opioids and other substances face stigma at every turn.

Now imagine what it’s like when someone is pregnant while dealing with an addiction. It’s no wonder that so many expecting women hide their addiction instead of getting help.

Many pregnant women are afraid and embarrassed to seek treatment for addiction to opioids or other substances. This only makes things worse for mothers and their unborn babies.

If you’re pregnant and addicted to drugs or alcohol, here’s a Mother’s Day message of support:

There is hope for you and your baby, and progress with your recovery can be quicker than you might expect.

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In Greenwood, Indiana, Addiction Treatment Leaders CleanSlate and Valle Vista Health System Create Campus Style of Care

by Cory McConnell | May 7, 2019

As with so much of the country, the toll of the opioid epidemic in Greenwood, Indiana is outpacing the number of high-quality medication-assisted treatment (MAT) providers who are available to treat patients suffering from addiction.

Johnson County ranks 13th among counties in Indiana for opioid overdoses, and Greenwood is the largest city in the county. But MAT treatment has lagged, with limited providers in the area forcing many patients to travel long distances. Many of the providers in the market who do prescribe buprenorphine and naltrexone operate substandard practices and accept cash only.

That’s why CleanSlate is proud to join forces with Valle Vista Health System to integrate medication treatment with mental health and addiction treatment services for residents of Greenwood and the surrounding areas. The new center is located on the Valle Vista campus at 65 Airport Parkway in Greenwood.

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Ohio's Week of Appreciation Honors Heroes Fighting the Opioid Epidemic. (P.S. - We're Not the Heroes.)

by Cory McConnell | May 2, 2019

This week, the state of Ohio has been observing a Week of Appreciation to Honor Heroes Fighting the Opioid Epidemic.

We at CleanSlate know a thing or two about the frontlines of Ohio’s opioid epidemic. CleanSlate operates three outpatient treatment centers for opioid and other substance addictions in Ohio; in Springfield, Lewis Center, and Columbus. A fourth Ohio center in Dayton is scheduled to open at the end of May. 

But we don’t think of ourselves as heroes. Warriors for Hope, yes. But heroes?

That would be our patients.

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They Were Losing the Battle Against the Opioid Epidemic. Then Plymouth County, Massachusetts Revolutionized the Playbook.

by Shannon DeMille | Apr 30, 2019

Plymouth County, Massachusetts had a problem. A big one, no different than most other areas of the country, but getting worse by the day.

The problem wasn’t just that the opioid epidemic was devastating the community. It was that the community wasn’t collaborating on how to address this complex health crisis.

Thus began Plymouth County Outreach (PCO), an effort to break the silo mentality amongst different parts of the community and create a titanic shift in how departments coordinated to battle the opioid epidemic.

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CleanSlate Answers Need for Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers in Bethlehem, Penn. with New Outpatient Center

by Jonathan Candee | Apr 24, 2019

Like most communities across the country, Bethlehem, Penn. is experiencing a wide gap between the number of its residents in need of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction and the number of local providers who can prescribe these life-saving medications. CleanSlate, a leading national provider of MAT, is addressing this gap by opening a new outpatient center for opioid and alcohol addictions in Bethlehem.

Located at 1401 Easton Ave., the new center will begin seeing patients in early May. CleanSlate participates in-network with most Medicaid and commercial providers in the state of Pennsylvania so that patients can be treated with minimal or no financial burden.

"We believe that every patient who seeks help for their addiction should be able to receive care," said Dr. Kimberly Jean, Medical Director for CleanSlate's new Bethlehem center. "We look forward to increasing access to life-saving treatment in Bethlehem and restoring hope for people in despair."

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"Now I Can Buy Groceries!" What Insurance Coverage vs. Cash for Addiction Treatment Means to Patients

by Cory McConnell | Apr 23, 2019

I recently had the privilege of meeting Bradley Helton, the caring owner of The Bradley Center in South Louisville, KY. Located in one of the zip codes hit hardest by the opioid epidemic in Kentucky, the Bradley Center offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and wraparound services for opioid addiction.

Brad and the facility he runs are beacons of hope amidst an area plagued by overdose deaths. But because of the onerous hurdles to qualify for state credentialing, the Bradley Center could only provide services on a cash basis.

Two months later, CleanSlate has acquired the Bradley Center and can now offer coverage for its services through Medicaid or commercial insurance.

What that means for patients is profound.

This isn’t a corporate story about an acquisition. It’s a human story about the costs of treatment and the challenges facing small businesses and individuals to offer and receive life-saving care.

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Save Lives: Dispose Leftover Meds on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27th

by Michael Petersen | Apr 19, 2019

The family medicine cabinet can be a death trap.

Old prescriptions for dad’s back spasms, mom’s sleeping pills, and a grab-bag of other leftover medications can be a temptation for curious teens. Sometimes, this ends in an overdose.

But it’s not just kids who are vulnerable to prescription drug misuse. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, six million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, with the majority of abused prescription drugs obtained from family and friends. These drugs often came from the home medicine cabinet.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the DEA, addresses this crucial public safety and public health issue.

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If you or someone you know suffers from the disease of addiction, please call 833-505-HOPE to speak with a professional.

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