CleanSlate Blog

Emergency Rooms in Lexington, Kentucky Desperately Need More Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers. CleanSlate's New Outpatient Center Will Help.

by Cory McConnell | Mar 25, 2019

In Lexington, KY, emergency rooms are increasingly flooded with patients who have suffered opioid-related overdoses. Eighty-two percent of the fatal overdoses in Fayette county involve opioids.

The county has responded by creating several innovative programs to increase access to treatment. This includes providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in emergency rooms, with a referral to a long-term care MAT provider.

The only problem: Lexington hospitals don’t have enough high-quality providers to which they can hand off patients.

CleanSlate is addressing this treatment gap with a new physician-led MAT center in Lexington.

“Too many patients in Lexington can’t maintain recovery upon release from the ER because they aren’t receiving medication for their disease,” said Anthony Belott, CleanSlate's Chief Development Officer. “What ensues is a cycle of relapse and despair. We’re grateful to the Lexington community for welcoming CleanSlate so warmly so that together we can help patients reclaim hope.”

“Unfortunately, in this area, people have been discharged from one place or another because of just one dirty screen, so they’re afraid or too ashamed to pick up the phone and call someplace new," said Mike Pickett, Center Manager of CleanSlate Lexington. "This could be the best day of their life, and they don’t even know it."

Located at 1500 Leestown Rd., Suite 110, CleanSlate’s outpatient center to treat opioid and alcohol addictions will open its doors to patients on March 26th. CleanSlate participates in-network with most Medicaid and commercial providers in Kentucky so that Lexington patients can be treated with minimal or no financial burden.

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MAT Facts: How Does Methadone Work?

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

MAT Facts is a special CleanSlate blog series that answers questions, corrects misunderstandings, and combats stigma around addiction and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Medication-assisted treatment involves the use of one of three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone. The oldest of these medications is methadone, a safe and effective treatment which treats withdrawal, controls cravings, and blocks the effects of other opioids.  

Because methadone offers the strongest opioid dosage of the medications, it is highly regulated and only dispensed in licensed opioid treatment programs. Those who choose to pursue this treatment must adhere to strict limitations, such as visiting a clinic every day to receive the medication and following specific guidelines to receive behavioral counseling and support.  

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MAT Facts: How Does Naltrexone Work?

by Tracey Cohen, M.D. | Mar 14, 2019

MAT Facts is a special CleanSlate blog series that answers questions, corrects misunderstandings, and combats stigma around addiction and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Amongst the three FDA-approved addiction medications, naltrexone - better known by its brand names, Vivitrol or Revia - is the least utilized.

While Suboxone (buprenorphine) and methadone are more popular, naltrexone helps people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) through different properties.

One of the unique qualities of naltrexone is that it can be administered once per month as an extended-release injectable (Vivitrol). This is one reason that Vivitrol is often given when a person is released from the prison system or a detox.  It reduces the risk of overdose for a full month to give the person time to get into treatment. 

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MAT Facts: How Does Buprenorphine Work?

by Tracey Cohen, M.D. | Mar 12, 2019

MAT Facts is a special CleanSlate blog series that answers questions, corrects misunderstandings, and combats stigma around addiction and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three treatment medications for addiction: buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone. (Naloxone [Narcan] is a rescue medication for overdose, not a treatment for addiction.)

All three medications control cravings for opioids and block the effects of other opioids. Each medication affects patients somewhat differently, based on whether they act as what doctors call opioid agonists or opioid antagonists.

But here’s what they have in common: addiction medications are effective and affordable, and have been shown to cut premature death rates in half.

Let’s take a look at the first of the three medications we’ll review: buprenorphine.

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AA and NA Won’t Accept Them, so People in Medication-Assisted Treatment Are Starting Their Own Addiction Support Groups

by Jennifer McMahon | Mar 6, 2019

Seeking treatment for an addiction takes courage. There’s an unfair stigma surrounding the disease of addiction, which makes it tough for people to reach out for help. When they do, they should be supported in every way possible.

So it’s mystifying when they’re not. Especially when the stigma surrounding addiction comes from leaders within the addiction treatment field itself, including the two brand-names in addiction support - Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

But this is often the bewildering experience of people engaged in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). They’re sometimes stigmatized by the supporters of traditional addiction treatment organizations for a recovery path that isn’t abstinence-only. Since the two most common addiction medications contain a small amount of opiates, MAT patients are  discriminated against for “replacing one drug with another.”

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MAT Facts: What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

by Tracey Cohen, M.D. | Mar 5, 2019

Across the country, the stigma around medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is slowly subsiding, and many more people who suffer from addiction are accessing medication that can save their lives. A growing chorus of leaders in healthcare, public policy, law enforcement, and other areas of expertise agree that MAT is a critical pillar of care for people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD).

But misunderstandings remain, and MAT is still vastly underutilized.

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Along Ohio's "Heroin Highway," CleanSlate Opens New Medication-Assisted Treatment Center in Springfield

by Cory McConnell | Feb 28, 2019

A recent report from the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Ohio suffered the second-highest number of opioid-involved deaths per capita in 2017.

Springfield, located approximately midway between Dayton and Columbus, saw its overdose death rate double between 2014 and 2017, partially due to the increased prevalence of synthetic drugs like fentanyl. It now ranks third among Ohio counties in overdose death rate.

Despite seeing an increase in the number of addiction treatment providers in Ohio, many organizations leading the State’s efforts to address the epidemic, including the State Attorney General’s Office and multiple health systems, agree that there continues to be a shortage of providers delivering quality, evidence-based, outpatient medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services.

CleanSlate is responding to this need by expanding its operations to treat opioid and alcohol addictions in Ohio. The company is opening a new outpatient MAT center in Springfield, CleanSlate’s third center in the state.

Located at 1416 W 1st St., CleanSlate’s Springfield center opened its doors to patients today. CleanSlate participates in-network with most Medicaid and commercial providers in Ohio so that Springfield patients can be treated with minimal or no financial burden.

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He Had a Heroin Addiction, West Nile Virus, and Endocarditis. The Healthcare System Failed Him; A Certified Recovery Specialist Empowered Him.

by Jennifer McMahon | Feb 25, 2019

Living on the streets in Boston, Mass., Peter Mulroney struggled with an addiction to heroin.

One day, he woke up in his homeless encampment and knew something was wrong. A friend gave him a ride to Boston Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with endocarditis, an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart.

On his fourth day at the hospital, Peter fell into a coma. The nurses called his parents to obtain permission to perform a spinal tap on Peter.

When they did, the doctors discovered another deadly infection: West Nile Virus.

Peter was in a coma for seven days. He was in the ICU for two months.

His diagnosis was grim. Doctors told Jake’s parents that he would never walk or talk again.

Somehow, Peter defied the odds. After a few weeks, he began talking. Eventually, he even began walking with a cane.

But while recovering from his deadly infections, Peter still had to sustain the recovery path for his other disease: opioid use disorder (OUD). All while being treated with opioid pain medication.

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During National Children's Dental Health Month, Let's Discuss the Risks of Dental Opioid Prescriptions

by Flora Sadri, D.O. | Feb 18, 2019

February is National Children’s Dental Health month, an observance sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA) that brings together healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers.

This year, the ADA’s theme is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile!” But for dentists and teens, the most important lesson of children’s dental health could come through increased education about a danger far more serious than plaque: an opioid prescription.

That’s because the first time that many American teens receive a prescription for opioid painkillers is at the dentist’s office. While teens in other countries are rarely prescribed opioids after dental surgeries like wisdom tooth removal, American teens are much more likely to be prescribed highly addictive drugs such as Vicodin.   

And the danger of addiction is real. A majority of all heroin users started by taking prescription painkillers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.

A 2015 study in the journal Pediatrics found that prescribed opioid use makes teens 33% more likely to abuse opioids later on. A more recent study, published last December in JAMA Internal Medicine by the Stanford University School of Medicine, found that teens and young adults who receive an initial opioid prescription from their dentists or oral surgeons are at increased risk for opioid addiction as soon as the following year.

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Surprised at Which Group is Suffering Skyrocketing Rates of Overdoses? You Shouldn't Be.

by Greg Marotta | Feb 15, 2019

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concludes that while the opioid epidemic has profoundly impacted all parts of the population over the past nearly 20 years, drug overdose rates have dramatically multiplied amongst one group of people in particular. The findings have garnered wide news coverage as “unexpected.”

Why? Because the group in question is middle-aged women.

This may seem like surprising news, but it isn’t. A deeper look shows that this group has long been vulnerable to high rates of overdoses, a fact that has been well documented for years. For example, a study several years ago by Geisinger Health System concluded that white, middle-aged women were most at risk of prescription opioid overdose. If you want to go back further, we can even time travel to the late 1800s, when women made up 60 percent of the population addicted to opium.

There's a very long history here, which we’ll get to in a minute.

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