A Denver Health Clinic Treating 600 with Methadone
Like most every place in the United States, the state of Colorado is also experiencing a local opioid crisis. In Denver, many people are in search of opioid treatment. In the video linked here, Denver Health is profiled as an area methadone clinic that is presently treating 600 patients who had developed severe opioid addiction.
The clinic has recently expanded its capacity to accommodate more patients, but reveals they are having some difficulty finding enough qualified counselors to staff the clinic. In 2016, Denver Health performed 3000 screenings on people who presented for services. The clinic offers both Methadone and Buprenorphine, both of which are FDA-approved medicines that are used in helping patients deal with opioid withdrawal.
It is important for journalists and reporters to portray patients receiving methadone in the proper light. Due to a lingering social stigma, many patients are criticized and treated unfairly by people who do not understand addiction. Media have a responsibility to counter the social stigma attached to methadone by covering the positive aspects of medication-assisted treatments like those which utilize methadone medication.
The ongoing opioid crisis will only be curtailed by having addicted individuals seek treatment and receive support in coping with their addictive illness. Without the benefit of medications to help manage opioid withdrawal sickness, most opioid addicted individuals will be unable to recover. This means that many will remain in active addiction and at high risk for accidental death by overdose or other causes.
Denver, Colorado is experiencing the same dilemma as every other city in the U.S. Opioid addicted people are trapped in their disease, and structured treatment offering counseling, methadone or buprenorphine is a life-saving path to wellness and recovery for these people.