The opioid epidemic is real and growing.
Last year in California, more than 21 million opioid prescriptions were issued, emergency rooms saw more than 4,300 overdose victims, and over 2,200 individuals died. And these numbers don’t begin to capture the thousands who suffered in private.
The crisis is being caused by more than prescription medications, and often involves heroin. Drug overdose deaths involving heroin continue to climb every year.
Fentanyl also poses a growing threat. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain medication, is 50-100 times stronger than heroin. Mixing heroin and Fentanyl is fueling a rapid rise in fatal overdoses – and now accounts for nearly 20% of all opioid-related deaths in the state.
Opioids impact all economic groups and are rampant in the workplace. A recent survey by Hartford Financial Services Group found that 65% of employers say opioid addiction has negatively affected their companies.
The crisis impacts people of all ages equally. Surprisingly, opioid addiction levels are nearly the same for people from ages 20 to 70.
A highly effective approach called Medication-Assisted Treatment is now available at no cost to clients.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
MAT is a proven treatment method that is administered by doctors and trained professionals who view addiction as a chronic disease that can be successfully managed.
MAT is effective in crises including detox, overdose, and medical emergencies. It uses a combination of legal and safe medications plus counseling to manage drug cravings and help restore health.
MAT is being offered at local clinics that are part of a new, free program in California called the “Hub & Spoke System.” The CLARE|MATRIX Opioid Treatment Program, located in mid-city, has been designated as one of two Hubs for the Los Angeles area. Services currently offered by the clinic include MAT medications, individual and group counseling, case management, urine drug testing, HIV, Hepatitis and STI testing, education and referral services, and other ancillary activities.
Hubs offer opioid use disorder treatment, including medication, counseling, and case management within an opioid treatment program setting.
Spokes also offer medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, however, are generally community health clinics, substance use disorder, and behavioral health treatment providers. Spokes are usually outpatient and in addition to the medications, offer counseling and links to other local providers.
Please join us in this critical effort by becoming a local area Spoke. CLARE|MATRIX Spokes are supported by SAMSHA funding and receive specialized training in providing Medication Assisted Treatment. Call 323.938.8187 to learn more about becoming a Spoke.