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PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times
RBC | Do you know anyone who is struggling with opioid, stimulant, alcohol, or other Substance Use Disorder (SUD)? Chances are, even if you are not aware, you do. Aug. 31 was International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day. A day of remembrance for those who died from overdose. Unfortunately, those we are remembering, and honoring is increasing. Prescription opioid-involved deaths nearly doubled from 176 to 300 in Colorado from 2013 to 2017 (source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.) According to an article from Colorado Politics, “Denver has seen a sharp spike in overdose deaths in the first six months of this year, particularly overdoses linked to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin. From January through June, the city reported a 354% increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths compared with the same time period last year.” Although we have our own unique culture here in NW Colorado, we are not immune to the effects of the opioid crisis and devastating effects of substance use disorders in our communities. Fentanyl is turning up in the heroin supply chains in our sleepy little towns as well.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and stigma related to SUD. The idea that use is a choice and a flaw of character is a misnomer. One of the diagnostic criteria for SUD is that use continues despite awareness of the negative impacts of use on relationships, health, and ability to care for one’s self and despite attempts and persistent desire to stop use. People want to stop, desperately, and are unable to. SUD is a chronic and progressive disease. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), people with substance use disorder have distorted thinking, behavior, and body functions. Psychological changes occur in the brain, causing people to have intense cravings for the substance, affecting judgement, decision-making, learning, memory, and behavior control.
Help is here, in the form of caring, understanding, and knowledgeable professionals. Providence Recovery Services is excited to announce that we are partnering with Rio Blanco County Department of Public Health and Environment to bring Substance Use Disorder treatment to Meeker and Rangely beginning Sept. 22, 2020. Alice Harvey, director of Public Health and Environment, is providing space for satellite clinics, one in each respective town. They will provide the check in, collect vitals and pertinent information in person and will then connect them via telehealth with our providers and clinicians. Providence Recovery Services provides Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) groups, weekly outpatient groups, and peer support specialist. We provide care and treatment for SUD and co-occurring disorders at Providence and are happy to serve NW Colorado. Please visit our website for more information: www.providence-recovery.com.
Rio Blanco County Department of Public Health and Environment is also a contractor for Rocky Mountain Health Plans to provide telehealth services via the CARENOW platform for mental health disorders. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges there is confidential help and support available for you locally. For more information about this process, please call: Meeker 970-878-9520 and Rangely 970-879-9525.
If you know someone who is struggling, or you yourself feel the need for additional support, please give us a call. We are here. We care. We see you.