Friday, March 18, 2016
International Community Health Services (ICHS) will offer improved substance abuse screening and referral, thanks to a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant allows ICHS to implement screening for substance use using Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), as well as expand ICHS Behavioral Health Program substance abuse services. The grant will also allow ICHS to begin providing Medication Assisted Treatment of its patients with addiction to opiates.
“We are very pleased to start this program which will help address the growing problem of substance abuse in our communities,” ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola said.
The grant provides funding for hiring and training of staff who are able to screen and refer patients to substance abuse services. The program is also expected to increase patients’ access to treatment programs and coordinate their health care to increase chances of successful outcomes.
Substance abuse remains a major problem in the region.
The University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute released its Drug Abuse Trends report for 2014, showing that deaths involving heroin and/or methamphetamine peaked in 2014. Treatment admissions for heroin, deaths due to heroin use, volume of syringe exchange and new cases of HIV due to injection drug use all point to opioid use in the community.
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