Carilion sees success in program to connect patients with treatment for opioid addiction
Carilion Clinic’s emergency medicine physicians and psychiatrists said they are astonished by the results of a program they started to get ER patients quickly into treatment programs for opioid addictions.
Until the Emergency Department Bridge to Treatment program began, patients who came to the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital emergency room with untreated opioid addictions would be handed some business cards, maybe a referral slip, and be sent on their way. They’d be on their own to deal with withdrawal sickness while they waited weeks or months to enter a treatment program.
Dr. John Burton, chair of emergency medicine, said emergency physicians were missing an opportunity since they knew these patients would continue to use opioids and that too few would enter treatment.
Through the Bridge, Carilion’s emergency physicians now start patients on medication to quiet cravings and feelings of illness, connect them with peer support and set them up with an appointment in the outpatient addiction program within days.
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