Medication Assisted Treatment now available in primary care
For many, struggling with opioid use is common and a growing concern for many community members, medical providers, and people experiencing opioid use disorder. In response to this concern, Axis has expanded our use of effective and safe approaches to prevent and treat opioid use disorder, including Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, commonly referred to as MAT, or medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Opioid use disorder treatment often includes prescribing medications to assist individuals in their recovery journey.
If you or someone you know is interested in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), for opioid use disorder, new options are available in Southwest Colorado. In Dove Creek, Cortez, Durango, and Pagosa Springs, Axis provides Medication Assisted Treatment in our primary care clinics. Once established in primary care, patients struggling with opioid use are scheduled for screening and connected with a provider for an evaluation, if appropriate. Often, a component of treatment includes prescribing medication to assist patients with managing opioid use disorder. Axis providers can prescribe Suboxone and collaborate with patients to determine a treatment plan that best meets their needs.
Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naltrexone), prescribed by a medical provider:
- Prevents withdrawal
- Decreases cravings
- Blocks effects of opioids
- Contains Naloxone to reduce the risk of misuse
“I am a passionate Medication Assisted Treatment provider and truly believe that treatment for opioid use disorder saves lives and increases success in recovery. We at Axis are very eager to expand this resource for the communities we serve,” said Jeanne Marotta, a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Axis’ Archuleta Integrated Health in Pagosa Springs, who is overseeing the expansion of the Medication Assisted Treatment program for the region. Marotta continued, “I am proud to be able to participate in a program that reduces barriers to access in rural and frontier communities. Community members need to know they can consistently access these services without having to go far from home. Receiving this type of treatment in a primary care setting helps us care for you as a whole person, ensuring that we can address any other concerns, like routine or emergency dental care, chronic conditions, preventative visits, or other mental health concerns. We really want to be a one-stop-shop for patients and their entire families.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, patients who receive medication for opioid use disorder have significantly higher recovery rates in treatment, reduced use, and improved survival. Medically supervised and non-medically supervised withdrawal from opioids alone, without ongoing medication, is not recommended due to the high rate of return to opioid use and risk of overdose.
“Historically, in communities like Archuleta County, treatment options were limited; patients seeking treatment had to drive to Durango for treatment. For those who have mobility issues or don’t have reliable transportation, this was a huge barrier to care. Also, opioid use disorder is an epidemic, worsening throughout the pandemic. Access to treatment is key in reducing needless deaths from opiate use. Having multiple providers who offer MAT in the region and throughout our small communities is a critical resource for reducing opiate-related deaths,” said Marotta.
Managing opioid use is similar to managing a chronic medical condition, which requires a team-based approach, and medication is often an effective component of that treatment. Axis’ primary care and psychiatric providers work with patients to develop care plans which often include regular check-ins throughout treatment, ensuring that patients are included in the treatment planning process and have access to the resources needed to succeed. People receiving Medication Assisted Treatment will receive medication management appointments (in-person or online) to ensure that their treatment meets their needs. Patients are not required to receive counseling during Medication Assisted Treatment; however, counseling is available for anyone who would like to receive these services.
Axis accepts most insurances, Medicare, Medicaid, and self-pay. Additionally, Axis provides a sliding fee scale for those who qualify.
Axis does not provide Methadone treatment. For Colorado Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Methadone providers, visit https://bha.colorado.gov/behavioral-health/opioid-treatment-programs.