Wright’s Medicine: Help Available for Opioid Addiction | pillars of society

Given everything we’ve been through during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget the catastrophic effects of the opioid crisis over the past two decades or more.

In terms of treating opioid use disorder, we’ve made great strides in recent years. However, awareness campaigns such as National Recovery Month remind us of all the hard work left. Monitored every September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Recovery Month publishes vital information about how quality substance abuse treatment and mental health services can put those in recovery on the path to a healthier life.

Here at the Wright Center for Community Health, we are at the forefront of local treatment options thanks to our status as a Center of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder in Pennsylvania.

Essentially, we treat addiction as a lifelong disease that requires a long-term commitment to recovery – recognizing that no two paths of recovery are the same. Unlike a traditional inpatient rehabilitation facility, we offer outpatient recovery services, allowing our patients to receive exceptional care without compromising other aspects of their lives.

Furthermore, we operate under a “whole patient” philosophy centered around Medication-Assisted Therapy, or MAT, a truly innovative concept that combines medical and social support. The drug works by blocking the receptors in the brain that newer opioids are made to connect to, in the process eliminating urges experienced by those facing recovery.

Our patients are also connected to a network of community service and support providers who regularly monitor their progress and keep them engaged. Recovery and behavioral health professionals, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, certified recovery professionals, and medical providers work as a team to provide advice and support to individuals dealing with a variety of substance use disorders—not only opioids, but also alcohol, cocaine and other drug addictions.

We continually motivate our patients to continue participating in both physical and behavioral health services, while our team also facilitates recovery by helping individuals find housing and stable employment, bypass insurance barriers and help re-establish family and community relationships. In addition, we connect patients with high value community groups and peer support networks.

Then there is the Pregnancy Recovery Program for Healthy Mothers (Medical Opioid Support for Mothers), which is available for expectant and new mothers with an opioid use disorder. Our program integrates MAT, along with counseling and social support, to keep expecting mothers and their babies from experiencing withdrawal symptoms and help them become leaders in their recovery.

Patients are eligible for care in our Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence if they have an opioid use disorder, have concurrent behavioral/drug misuse and physical health conditions, need assistance navigating the healthcare system, and need guidance to stay involved in treatment in order to avoid relapse. Services are provided regardless of a patient’s insurance status or ability to pay, with a tiered fee discount available to those who qualify.

We are very proud to be one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s leaders in opioid abuse disorders treatment services. We take particular pride in being always there for our patients in every aspect of their care. To us, you are a human being who deserves first-class care and a life’s chance at recovery.

Charles Burns, MD, is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Burns graduated from Jefferson Medical College and completed his residency at Geisinger Medical Center and his fellowship in Pediatric and Adult Urology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. It accepts adult patients for addiction and recovery services at the Kingston Clinic and via telehealth.

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