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Breaking The Chain Of Addiction: Long-Acting Clinic Helping Those Struggling With Addiction

Memorial Regional Hospital’s Long-Acting Clinic in collaboration with psychiatric services, is enabling people to regain control of their lives.

t is estimated that 30 percent of the people who struggle with addiction and mental illness and have recently been discharged from emergency care run the risk of being readmitted back into the hospital within 30 days. This includes pregnant women and new moms who, in the case of addiction, are especially at risk of lapses in sobriety given the increased stress of motherhood.

Memorial Regional Hospital pharmacists have found that identifying these patients before discharge and treating them with certain medications that help control drug cravings and manage behavioral issues associated with addition have a greater chance of beating the chain of addition. To this end, Memorial’s Long-Acting Therapy (LAT) Clinic has been using a relatively new injectable medication called Vivitrol, which has been primarily responsible for lowering the rate of readmission by up to 3 percent.

“This is a much easier treatment protocol for individuals to adhere to and comply with,” said Dr. Alberto Augsten, board certified clinical toxicologist and manager of the LAT Clinic. “In the case of local moms struggling with addiction, 50 have so far given birth and 47 of the babies were born without drugs in their system.”

Memorial’s LAT clinic, in collaboration with psychiatric services, is enabling people to regain control of their lives. The Clinic works with a variety of patients who come from different referral bases, including hospitals, treatment centers, private doctors, outpatient behavioral health facilities and others. The Clinic has been able to secure some funding to help cover the cost of the medications needed for this type of intervention and is available for those who qualify.