LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recently received $ 3 million from the Arkansas Department of Human Services to compensate state facilities providing patients with use-related disorders opioids drug-assisted treatment.
River Valley Medical Wellness in Russellville is one of 11 clinics that have received grants to provide in-office drug-assisted treatment to people with opioid use disorders.
The total number of counties that will have access to drug-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders based on the areas covered by the awarded agencies is 44 of 75 in Arkansas.
“We are truly the stewards of the money; our job is to give it away, ”said Michael Mancino, MD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UAMS College of Medicine, who oversees the MATRIARC program. “We are working with clinics already providing drug treatments to people living below the poverty line, so they don’t have to turn anyone away. We look forward to continuing these efforts with the old and new winners. “
The money will allow medical providers to provide treatment for opioid use disorders to patients without insurance or the ability to pay for the services. This new effort is an offshoot of MATRIARC (Rural Arkansas Drug-Assisted Treatment Recovery Initiative), a partnership between the UAMS Institute for Psychiatric Research and DHS.
Medication-assisted treatment involves the use of medications to relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as counseling and support to overcome opioid use. This includes methadone, which can only be dispensed as part of an opioid treatment program, products containing buprenorphine that require federal dispensation for prescribers, and injectable naltrexone, which does not require special qualifications for prescribers. the prescription.
Research has shown that a combination of drug-assisted treatment and behavior therapy can successfully treat opioid use disorders and help maintain recovery.
The funds will cover expenses including the cost of drugs, hiring peer support specialists, providing treatment services, and even travel costs for patients using drug-assisted treatment.
Other clinics have received grants: A Better You Med Spa in Springdale; Aurora Rehabilitation Clinic in Fayetteville; Searcy Compassionate Care Clinic; Jacksonville Consulting Services; The Guinn Clinic of El Dorado; Warren Healing Hands Addiction Treatment Center; Ideal option from Pasco, Washington; Behavioral health and well-being of Ouachita from the hot springs; St Francis House, Springdale NWA; and Western Arkansas Counseling & Guidance Center in Fort Smith.