• Beacon Center, which operates a methadone clinic for opioid treatment in Rome, is working to bring a methadone clinic to Utica, said Admira Spahic, director of program operations. Plans are too preliminary for any details to be available, she said. CNY Milestones operates the Landmark Opioid Treatment Program at the McPike, which offers methadone on the grounds of the McPike Addiction Treatment Center in Utica, but at the moment, it is only accepting high-risk patients, according to the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. OASAS is monitoring the facility in the hope that full admissions will resume.
• “The biggest trend we are seeing is an increase of patients in need of mental health services,” said Michelle Barrett, program nurse at the Community Recovery Center of Rome Memorial Hospital. Dual diagnosis programs for addiction and mental health have been around for awhile, but now the Community Recovery Center and the Beacon Center have embedded mental health services into their medication-assisted treatment programs for addiction. Mental health treatment minimizes the risk of relapse, Spahic noted.
• The state is trying to move treatment toward individualized treatment plans based on each patient’s needs. “It’s not a cookie-cutter approach anymore,” agreed Nicole Cozza, clinical services coordinator for the Addiction Stabilization Center at the Rescue Mission of Utica. “It’s not telling people you have to be here for six months. Somebody could have been in treatment for 10 years. It doesn’t necessarily mean because you’ve relapsed you need to start all over again,” she said.
• Alexandra Punch, director of drug user health at ACR Health, said she’s been surprised at how the community has rallied around the issue of addiction with more doctors embracing medication-assisted treatment and with more understanding of the role of harm reduction in recovery. Harm reduction is strategies to prevent disease transmission and death in drug users. “Everyone deserves a second chance and a third chance and a fourth chance,” she said.
• The Oneida County jail will be getting a program to give inmates Vivitrol – a drug that can reduce opioid cravings and prevent highs – and link them to outside treatment before they leave jail, but details haven’t been announced yet. The county also has gotten a $200,000 state grant to start a substance abuse treatment program in the jail, but details have not yet been determined.