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New Opioid Addiction Help

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) The Cedar Rapids Treatment Center is now open to help patients who are hooked on pain killers and Heroin.

The clinic came about after a market research study determined that the Cedar Rapids area was vastly under served when it comes to opioid addiction treatment. Experts say its a lot larger problem than most people might realize.

Just down the hallway in the CRC treatment center is a room where a handful of black chairs facing  white board could be one of a few helping hands that someone who battles an opioid addiction needs to get their life back on track.

 "Some of the patients that we see have burnt relationships with their family members, with their loved ones, with friends due to their addiction, so here it's a really supportive environment, explained Clinic Director Jackie Scott.

The centers mission isnt hard to understand.

"We are a medication assisted outpatient treatment center, said Scott. We use medication along with counseling to treat opiate addition."

The clinic opened in the past few weeks, but the need for it started well before that.

ASAC Certified Prevention Specialist Curt Wheeler said it partially began when doctors started prescribing more opioid prescription pain killers after routine surgeries and injuries.

With time, more people got addicted.

"That increase coincides with the number of deaths as well as the number of people entering into treatment, said Wheeler. You see comparable increases from about the period of 2000 to about 2010."

The problem is that help can be hard to come by.

"Medication assisted treatment options are limited in this area, said Scott.

Thats not out of the ordinary.

Curt says some communities can only meet 10% of its treatment needs.

"Generally speaking, treatment is under served, said Wheeler. The need of communities is generally not even close to being met."

The center uses Methadone and Subutex to help wean patients off prescription medicine or even Heroin, which has a similar effect.

"Opiate addiction is probably one of the most severe withdrawals you can have, said Scott.

But to prescribe the medications needed, Doctors need an additional certification.

Even with that certification there's a limited number of patients per year that they're able to maintain, said Scott.

One new center might not solve all of Cedar Rapids opioid addiction problems, but Jackie says its 500-person capacity can make a dent, helping people who are struggling now, like the people that have come before.

"That are living very successful lives, very stable, said Scott. Have their jobs back, have their house back, and that's the goal."

All to help solve problems in a community that are anything but black and white.
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