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1/5/2019

HSHS offers options to help addicts break free from opioid addiction


GREEN BAY - For someone battling an opioid abuse disorder, breaking the cycle of addiction is a powerful step toward getting their freedom back. Not just mental freedom, but addiction can lead to the loss of physical freedom.

Incarceration can provide a window of opportunity to begin the recovery process.

“When people are released from jail, they are at risk of re-connecting with people related to their drug use,” said Jeff Stumbras, Behavioral Care Director. In jail, they likely have already gone through withdrawal, and once they go through withdrawal, they are eligible for a medication-assisted treatment program.”

Thanks to a community wide effort, and an $85,000 donation from HSHS St. Vincent and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospitals, people who may otherwise not be able to afford treatment are provided with a potentially life-changing opportunity.

The donation helps cover the cost of a medication administered while someone is in jail, which blocks the effects of opioids and significantly reduces cravings, making it easier to manage and break addiction. To further increase success rates, the donation also funds scholarships to a residential treatment program at the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay.

“The scholarship covers up to a month of treatment at the center, which hopefully helps break the cycle,” said Jeff. “This all goes along with psychiatric and medical assessments.”

From Dec. 2015 to Dec. 2018, nine people received scholarships for treatment at the Jackie Nitschke Center. The lengths of stay varied for each person, with two people going for a full month.

The scholarships began three years ago, as part of the TIP (Treatment, Intervention and Prevention) Program. The program brings together organizations throughout the community, including; the Brown County District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, Brown County Health and Human Services, the state’s Public Defender’s Office, the Jackie Nitschke Center, Prevea Health and HSHS-EWD. The goal of the program is to provide services quickly in hopes of turning offenders into contributing members of the community.

Opioid abuse has a ripple effect, which drains resources at the local, state and national levels. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were 4,744 opioid-related hospitalizations in 2017. More people (916) also died from opioid related overdoses than car crashes (594) in 2017, showing resources, such as the TIP Program, are needed.

Reference Articles:
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services
https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/opioids/index.htm

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/about-wisdot/newsroom/statistics/monthfatal.aspx
 

Media Contacts


Angela Deja
Public Relations Coordinator
angela.deja@hshs.org
(920) 272-3360

Dana Jermstad
Senior Communications and Public Relations Manager
dana.jermstad@hshs.org
(920) 429-1752
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