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Opiate addiction? North County has new treatment plan

Opiate dependency is approaching pandemic proportions across the nation. 

“Drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990. The highest groups at risk are young adults ages 18 to 25 years old. In 2010, 3,000 young adults died from a prescription drug overdose — a 250 percent increase from 1999.” (SAMHSA, 2011).

San Diego County is not exempt from this fact. “In 2012 there were 269 prescription drug overdoses. Heroin deaths have been increasing in frequency since 2007, with heroin the most common drug responsible for accidental overdoses in 20-29 year olds. In North County San Diego, there are between 25,000 and 50,000 people that are opiate dependent (unable to function without ongoing ingestion of opiates throughout the day). This is between five and ten percent of the total population of North County (population approximately 500,000).” (SANDAG, 2012).

The aforementioned statistics indicate a need for more opiate treatment programs across the country.

The specific needs of the opiate addict have for the most part been ignored by society at large either because of ignorance or biases.

While opiate addiction is finally being addressed in the media and within our communities, treatment options are just beginning to be uncovered.

Opiate dependency has the highest rate of success when medically assisted treatment services are provided.

Although traditional drug treatment frowns upon the use of Methadone or Suboxone (medically assisted treatment) as tools to manage opiate withdrawal symptoms in patients, research has shown that there is less than a 1 percent success rate using the abstinence-based models.

New, cutting edge treatment of the future is focused on the use of medication to help these patients regain their lives.

Dr. Laura Rossi, a trailblazer in the field, recognized the stigma that so many opiate addicted patients faced in the wake of seeking treatment.

In her process to provide better care, she met a like-minded woman who shared a similar vision of addressing the specific needs of opiate dependent individuals.

From the initial planning stages, SOAP MAT, LLC (Stop Opiate Addiction Program, Medically Assisted Treatment) was to be a different kind of medically assisted program with a different philosophy and treatment approach that emphasized the importance of maintaining a patient’s dignity as described in SOAP MAT’s mission statement:

“The mission of SOAP MAT, LLC is to provide a high quality outpatient opiate treatment program (OTP) that promotes health and well-being to an underserved opiate dependent population. The goal of the program is to provide affordable, medically assisted treatment (MAT) utilizing the harm reduction model, focusing on each patient as an individual. The goal of treatment will be to enable the community to function at a higher level, yielding a decrease in crime rates, high risk behaviors, and deaths.”

The SOAP MAT treatment team consists of an MD/Addictionologist, licensed clinical psychologist, an RN and two LVNs, licensed clinical social worker, master’s level certified addiction counselor, certified alcohol and drug counselors, and a medical assistant.

The staff is patient focused and empathic; highly experienced and certified; professional, caring and warm; harm reduction oriented, and committed to patient education and advocacy.

Treatment services include: screening, comprehensive assessment, treatment planning, medication management, counseling and case management services.

Methadone and Suboxone for outpatient short and long term detoxification and maintenance services are utilized. Individual counseling is provided to resolve issues related to medical, legal, psychosocial, spiritual and employment barriers that interfere with opiate dependency recovery.

SOAP MAT, LLC is located in Oceanside, California at the Tri-city Medical Park, adjacent to Tri-City Hospital.

It is strategically located near state Route 78 and Interstate 5 freeways, with easy access to public transportation, servicing both coastal and inland communities.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday: 5:30 a.m. 2 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 7 to 9:30 a.m. For more information, please call (760) 305-7528 or email us at [email protected] or Let’s all GET CLEAN WITH SOAP!

1 comment

joshua v September 8, 2013 at 8:10 am

Everyone loves dr. Rossi and the whole crew.

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