According to a recent press release, Medical Coaches is going to produce six mobile health units to help provide treatment to those struggling with opioid addiction. Medical Coaches is a company that manufactures mobile medical clinics. These new units will specialize in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in Colorado.
The mobile medical units are being created as part of the State’s Opioid Response (SOR) Grant. The grant recently given to Colorado is part of a multi-year program from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The money will go toward helping combat Colorado’s opioid epidemic.
Medical Coaches was selected to receive the contract in Colorado for several reasons, including the fact they are one of the largest manufacturers of specialized mobile medical units in the world.
Colorado’s Opioid Epidemic
Colorado has felt the impacts of the opioid epidemic more so than other states. In Colorado, there was an increase of almost five times the number of heroin-related deaths from 2010 to 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Currently, there are only 22 opioid treatment providers in the state, and these providers are in a mere 12 of 64 counties in Colorado. Further, only 8% of providers can prescribe medication-assisted treatment in Colorado’s rural counties.
Colorado’s grant means they have a total of $30 million to put toward dealing with opioid abuse in the state. One of the overarching goals of the SOR grant is to help provide increased access to opioid reversal medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Organizers of the programs in the state hope to provide the necessary treatments for people with opioid dependence and simultaneously reduce opioid overdose deaths.
Ultimately, the Colorado Mobile Health Project hopes to especially improve access to addiction and dependence treatment medication and care in the rural areas and under-served parts of Colorado. With mobile Medical Coaches, people will have increased access to the help they need from medical professionals.
Mobile Addiction Clinics in the U.S.
Colorado isn’t the only state making use of mobile health clinics to help combat the effects of addiction. In New York, thanks to a grant of $1.7 million, an organization from Buffalo recently deployed four mobile health units to rural communities in Erie and Niagara counties. The health care organization, BestSelf Behavioral Health, travels to rural areas in clinics that are similar in size to RVs. They have exam rooms and telemedicine equipment. They can also provide medication-assisted treatment and counseling for people struggling with opioid addiction.
Along with mobile health units, many states around the country are coming up with creative and technology-driven ways to reach people, particularly in under-served areas who struggle with opioid addiction. This includes the implementation of mobile health apps and telehealth.
In Pennsylvania, a program called Positive Recovery Solutions was recently featured by CNN. The addiction recovery clinic offers behavioral counseling and a medication called Vivitrol. Vivitrol is an extended-release version of naltrexone that can reduce cravings for both opioids and alcohol.
Facing New Challenges to Combat Addiction
Of course, there are challenges with these new approaches to addiction treatment and medicine. For example, according to the profile on Positive Recovery Solutions, they receive anywhere from 200 to 400 referrals a week, but many people do not show up.
Even in cities that aren’t considered rural, it’s often difficult to find access to medication-assisted treatment. Some people are pushing for increased access to medication-assisted treatment that can be used along with behavioral therapy to help overcome addiction.
There is still a long way to go for most places in the United States when it comes to the opioid epidemic, but expanding options show much-needed progress and improvement.
If you would like to learn about addiction treatment programs and find access to the help you deserve, please contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake.
PR Newswire. “Medical Coaches Awarded Contract by the State of Colorado to Manufacture Mobile Opioid Clinics.” Yahoo, July 16, 2019. Accessed August 16, 2019.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Colorado Opioid Summary.” March 2019. Accessed August 16, 2019.
Wicklund, Eric. “Mobile Health Units Are Latest Telehealth Tool to Fight Opioid Abuse.“ MHealthIntelligence.com, January 23, 2018. Accessed August 16, 2019.
Holmes, Kristen, and Petroka, Katelyn. “Mobile addiction clinic brings help to those at heart of opioid epidemic.” CNN Health, March 8, 2019. Accessed August 16, 2019.