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."
Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania had declined 11 percent, as compared to a nationwide drop of 3 percent. In December, the American Medical Association praised Pennsylvania’s fight against opioids - which includes state-wide innovation and coordination on programs such as Centers of Excellence treatment centers - as a model for the rest of the country.
But cities throughout the state are struggling with a shortage of high-quality medication-assisted treatment (MAT) providers.
Related CleanSlate Blog: CleanSlate's New Medication-Assisted Treatment Center In Altoona, Pennsylvania Underscores Commitment To Address Statewide Disaster
The city of Bethlehem is uniquely situated within two counties – Lehigh and Northampton, and both counties have been hit hard by the epidemic. Between 2016 and 2017, Lehigh demonstrated a 179% increase in overdose deaths.
While much has been done in the Bethlehem area to provide services and support for people with opioid use disorder (OUD), most of the formal OUD treatment services in Bethlehem are inpatient and detox programs.
Both Lehigh and Northampton counties have addressed the opioid epidemic primarily through the creation of inpatient beds, leaving a large gap in the continuum of care for outpatient MAT services. Local stakeholders have expressed difficulty accessing quality outpatient treatment, and these stakeholders report that the problem has only increased over the last four years.
"Bethlehem is a special community," said Felix Cruz, Center Manager for CleanSlate Bethlehem. "It's home to seven colleges within a 10-mile radius, and filled with students trying to improve the world. We're pleased to be a part of making the world a better place in these students' backyards, by helping residents who are battling for their lives."
CleanSlate now operates eight locations in Pennsylvania, treating more than 2,200 patients across the state. Three of those centers have been honored as Centers of Excellence (COE) by Governor Tom Wolf.
Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller recently visited one of CleanSlate’s COEs, in Williamsport, as part of Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week. The campaign was a statewide initiative to increase access to naloxone and treatment for all Pennsylvanians who suffer from OUD.
“As the Wolf Administration works to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic, we must always remember the people at the center of this crisis,” Secretary Miller said in a public release. “Addiction is a disease, and connecting people to treatment that addresses both their opioid use disorder as well as physical and behavioral health needs is critical. CleanSlate’s COE helps thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvanians fully address these concerns and begin a path towards recovery.”
Related CleanSlate Blog: At Its "Center Of Excellence" In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, CleanSlate Expands Addiction Treatment Capacity With New, Larger Location
Founded in 2009 in response to the country’s growing opioid epidemic, CleanSlate’s physician-led offices utilize MAT and related therapies to treat patients who suffer from addiction, adhering to the highest quality, evidence-based practices.
Over the past decade, the company has treated more than 40,000 patients, with approximately 14,000 patients currently being treated in 11 states. CleanSlate is actively growing its footprint to expand much-needed access to outpatient medication treatment for addiction, and now has more than 60 centers across the country.
To make an appointment at CleanSlate’s Bethlehem center, please call 833-505-4673, or walk into our center at 1401 Easton Avenue. To find out more details about this center, click here.
Learn more about CleanSlate at www.cleanslatecenters.com, and sign up for our newsletter to receive regular insights about addiction and the opioid epidemic. To schedule an appointment at any CleanSlate center, please visit http://www.cleanslatecenters.com to find the center nearest you. All CleanSlate centers accept walk-ins.
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