JASON RANTZ

Bellingham clinic fighting opioid addiction with new treatment

Jun 3, 2019, 4:18 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
opioid, drug possession, decriminalize drugs...
(AP)
(AP)

A clinic in Bellingham is using an approach to treat opioid addiction in a way that’s showing very promising results. It’s called medication assisted treatment, and it’s being used at Ideal Option Clinic, which Whatcom county officials consider as part of their fight against addiction.

Addiction medication physicians Dr. Martin Dubek and Dr. Jeff Allgaier joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss the program.

“Medication assisted treatment is really the use of both medications — which helps folks with their cravings and withdrawals and helps them to not go out and use illicit drugs — in combination with both counseling and other psychosocial services,” said Dr. Jeff Allgaier.

“That integrated model has been proven to be very beneficial and evidenced base for many, many folks.”

Are injection sites a slippery slope, or a tool against opioid epidemic?

The drugs being used to help include Suboxone, which helps ease the craving during withdrawals for a better recovery, and Vivitrol, a complete opiate blocker which helps offset some of the cravings and withdrawals as well.

Along with the medication, there’s also the psychological component that helps the patient navigate a path out of addiction.

“We certainly help guide them through the process and figure out how much support they actually will engage with, whether it’s mental health counseling, whether it’s chemical dependency counseling, or whether it’s what we refer to as IOP (intensive outpatient program),” said Dr. Martin Dubek.

Last year, opioid deaths were the leading cause of accidental deaths in Washington. The governor’s proposed 2019-21 budget calls for $10.7 million for prevention and an additional $19.3 million for treatment and recovery efforts.

Seattle business forced to lock doors after homeless attack

This medication assisted treatment is a new approach medical professionals are taking in response to the opioid crisis, which is more balanced than previous methods.

“This has really been something that has just over the last few years became the standard of care in addiction treatment,” said Dr. Allgaier. “What we have historically done over the last 50 years or so is really not focused on medication, except for methadone. But we focused more on counseling and twelve step, which solves part of the battle, but it doesn’t solve the physiologic changes, the body changes that happen when folks are addicted to opioids.”

“Without the medication and with just psychological care alone there’s over a 90 percent failure rate. So when you add medications to that the success rate is much, much higher.”

Medication assisted treatment helps replace one lifestyle for another

While there’s been resistance to using medication to help solve addiction, Dr. Allgaier says that doing so enables addicts to change the lifestyle that once went along with their opioid addiction.

“There has been somewhat of a philosophical and understandable resistance to it, just simply because there’s an old sort of reasonable saying that says, well all you’re doing is replacing one drug for another,” he said.

Fake opioid pills flooding illicit market

“That’s a pretty reasonable assertion, except for the fact that you’re really replacing one lifestyle for another. They’re no longer out stealing and prostituting and doing bad things, but they’re taking once a day medication, and taking care of their kids and functioning.”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

seattle police, traffic stops...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: New equity policy bars Seattle Police from some traffic stops, opens door to more car theft

Seattle Police are now barred from many non-criminal traffic stops after activists claimed concerns over equity.
3 days ago
Sheriff Fortney...
KTTH staff

Snohomish County Sheriff Fortney will run for re-election after failed recall effort

After a failed recall effort against him last year, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney says he will run for office again in 2023.
4 days ago
MultiCare hospitals...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: MultiCare hospitals order symptomatic COVID-positive staff to see patients

MultiCare Health Systems is forcing COVID-positive staff to work at its area hospitals, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned.
5 days ago
Redistricting ,senator...
KTTH staff

State senator escorted out after not submitting negative COVID test

State Senator Phil Fortunato was escorted out of the Legislative building in Olympia because he had not submitted a required negative COVID test.
5 days ago
King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, coronavirus...
KTTH staff

‘They never could figure me out’: Former King County Sheriff looks back on shortened tenure

Former King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht left office at the end of 2021, and spoke to KTTH's Jason Rantz Show this week to reflect on her tenure.
5 days ago
transgender, gender...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA laws now allow teen gender reassignment surgery without parental consent

Washington state now appears to allow minors to undergo life-changing gender reassignment surgery without parental consent.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Bellingham clinic fighting opioid addiction with new treatment