A first point of contact for those seeking outpatient drug treatment are customer service representatives Kandi Kellner and Stephanie Young at Pathways Community Health in Warsaw.

“Substance Use Disorders are a chronic disease, much like high blood pressure or diabetes,” said Elisabeth Brockman-Knight, the senior director of addiction recovery and prevention for Compass Health Network (CHN).

One steady reminder that there are people in Benton County who suffer from the disease can be found in the Sheriff’s weekly report of arrests.

At the approach of the new year, from Christmas Day 2017 through January 7, 2018, seven individuals were arrested for drug related violations, and another for alcohol abuse. A total of eleven men and women were arrested during those 14 days; the majority (8) for illegal substance use. One man was arrested twice within a week for the same offense.

From a broader perspective on the impact of the problem, below are excerpts from Benton County statistics in the “2017 Status Report on Missouri’s Substance Use and Mental Health”:

•Alcohol induced deaths in 2015: 4
•Drug induced deaths in 2015: 4
•Alcohol involved car crashes 2016: 14; 9 people injured
•Drug involved car crashes 2016: 1; 5 people injured
•DUI arrests in 2016: 59
•Drug arrests in 2016: 143
•Juvenile alcohol offenses in 2016: 3
•Juvenile drug offenses in 2016: 17
•Juvenile court placements in 2016 related to parental drug use: 4
•Prison admissions in FY2017 – DWI: 3
•Prison admissions in FY2017 – Drugs: 41

Substance users need to know that help is available in a variety of settings to anyone with an addiction, whether insured or uninsured. Brockman-Knight said CHN contracts with the Missouri Department of Mental Health to provide addiction treatment services for the uninsured.

The Benton County Health Department (BCHD) provides information and guidance. The website at http://bentonhealth.org/health-education-resource-directory/ refers inquirers to support groups holding regularly-scheduled meetings in Warsaw at no cost, and to Pathways Community Health center.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon and Alateen, and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meet at the Coach Apartments, 604 W. Jackson, in Room 12 on the ground floor. Note the meeting schedules below have changed since last updated on the BCHD website.

•AA meets every day at 10 AM, and on Sundays at 6 PM.
•Al-Anon and Alateen meets on Thursdays at 3 PM.
•NA meets at 7 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Pathways Community Health at 17571 N. Dam Access Rd., Warsaw (660) 428-1280, a not-for-profit community health center that offers a full range of outpatient mental health care and counseling in individual, family or group settings.

Pathways provides outpatient drug treatment, as do over 32 clinics in the Compass Health Network in Missouri.

Statewide, the 286 substance abuse treatment centers throughout Missouri served 16,219 patients in 2016, per data collected in the annual survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Fees at 213 of these facilities are based on an income-based sliding scale. Eight (8) accept no payment, and 175 facilities accept patients who cannot pay. For those who are insured, many plans include coverage in whole or in part for substance abuse treatment.

Detoxification (detox) is often a first step, but not the only step, in treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Thirty detox treatment centers in Missouri provide outpatient services; 24 provide non-hospital inpatient treatment, and six are hospitals with inpatient detox treatment.

Detoxification is a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. … a clearing of toxins from the body of the patient … acutely intoxicated and/or dependent on substances of abuse. Detoxification seeks to minimize the physical harm caused by the abuse… Detoxification alone is not sufficient in the treatment and rehabilitation of substance use disorders (SAMHSA Quick Guide for Clinicians).

SAMHSA’s Quick Guide describes five levels of substance abuse treatment, two in outpatient settings, one in non-medical residential setting (“social setting detox” based on peer and social support rather than medications), and two in medical inpatient (hospital or psychiatric) settings.

Determining the type of detox that is appropriate, Brockman-Knight said, depends on the medical history of the client; what substances the client has been using and the history of withdrawals, plus the client’s other chronic diseases. Depending on the substance the client is withdrawing from, detox can pose serious medical risks to the client, although not usually dangerous to others.

Opioid addition has reached a crisis point nationwide. The Center on Disease Control (CDC) reports that two people die every two hours from the effects of opioid addiction.

At the recommendation of the health department and the support of local doctors, Benton County Commissioners signed an ordinance on March 23, 2017, establishing a “Prescription Drug Monitoring Program” to allow doctors and pharmacists to track individuals who attempt to purchase opioid prescriptions for unnecessary refills for resale or abuse.

Brockman-Knight said outpatient, medication assisted treatment for Opiate Use Disorders can eliminate the need for detox.

Benton County has no residential, inpatient treatment centers. Of the 12 outpatient care facilities in the Compass Health Network within a 50-mile radius of Warsaw, only one in Warrensburg, Johnson County, MO also provides residential care for social setting detox.

Brockman-Knight said CHN has three adolescent residential facilities and four adult residential facilities in Missouri. A maximum three patients are enrolled at a time for a 1-3-day treatment period. Individuals can enroll voluntarily in CHN’s detox programs on a walk-in, self-referral basis. Others participate under the terms of probation or parole.

Substance use disorders, she said, need to be managed by the consumer for the extent of his or her life. Goals and what constitutes success are individualized. Relapses are not considered to be failures.

The public should understand, Brockman-Knight said, “that substance use disorders when treated with medications and therapy have better outcome rates than many other chronic diseases.”

By Joyce Coates | Benton County Enterprise