(Wyoming) - After seeing a significant rise in prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) has received funds to help combat the problem. The $1 million federal grant will help the WDH expand “Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)” services to help meet the state’s growing need for effective treatment of prescription drug and heroin abuse. In Jackson, law enforcement has seen also seen a rise in prescription drug abuse and heroin over the last year.
"One of the largest problems that we have had in this community recently is
prescription drugs," said Lt. Cole Nethercott with the Jackson Police
Department. "And the people who are on prescription drugs are the same
people who tend to go towards heroin because it is the same base drug.
Heroin is cheaper and it is easier to get."
Throughout the state, WDH data shows admissions into treatment for heroin
have increased from 58 individuals in state fiscal year 2011 to 132
individuals in state fiscal year 2015. Opiates and other synthetic drug use
treatment admissions have increased from 262 in state fiscal year 2011 to
345 in state fiscal year 2015.
“Both heroin and opiate treatment admissions are unfortunately continuing
an upward trend in the current fiscal year,” said Margarete Loghry, Quality
Management and Outcomes Unit and MAT Grant Program manager with the WDH
Behavioral Health Division.
“Medication assisted treatment is an evidence-based practice that has been
shown to be effective in helping people to achieve sustained recovery from
opiate addiction,” Loghry said.
Medication assisted treatment uses opioid antagonist medication therapies
together with standard therapy and substance use treatment. Opioid
antagonist medications bind to the brain’s opiate receptors so that
opioids, including heroin, are blocked from creating a high in users while
also preventing withdrawal symptoms.
More information on MAT is available here.
*Feature Photo: h/t Pixabay / Pitchengine Communities*