Aug 23 Road Warriors for Hope: St. Louis
At CleanSlate, we consider ourselves Warriors for Hope. Chief Medical Officer Kelly Clark, M.D., travels the country speaking about what that means. She recently appeared at the American Correctional Association (ACA) annual conference in St. Louis. Here is the latest dispatch from Dr. Clark:
(PICTURED: Dr. Clark, right, with ACA President Lanette Linthicum, M.D.)
“One of the topics I speak about most is the need to expand access to evidence based treatment of opioid addiction – which is the use of medications with psychosocial supports. CleanSlate’s model is based on these facts, because we believe Science and Medicine Matter.
As President for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, I was approached by the ACA to present at their annual meeting and to work to develop joint policies and a clinical guideline for the use of medications for opioid use disorders within corrections. This guideline would improve treatment from pre-diversion programs through parole with all three medication modalities (buprenorphine. methadone, and naltrexone).
Too often we at CleanSlate see our patients forced off their medications by people in the criminal justice system. This has happened when patients are incarcerated, when they leave incarceration without follow up appointments, and even when they are on probation or parole. The horrible fact is that people leaving incarceration are over 120 times more likely to die of an overdose within two months of release than the general population.
Happily, the ACA this week embraced the science and pledged to join the fight against the epidemic. They have accepted policy statements that all people on MAT should continue those medications, and that people with opioid use disorder should be evaluated for possible use of medication – any and all of the three types.
We at CleanSlate know it takes an entire community to tackle this epidemic. Working with the ACA as well as local sheriff’s departments and drug courts creates innovative opportunities to expand effective type of care and serves as one of our best hopes for stopping the advance of this epidemic.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak with other professionals serving on the front lines of this battle, and will be having follow up meetings with some of the state Commissioners and Medical Directors of Corrections I met with this week – including those in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Connecticut. They understand one of CleanSlate’s core values: Together We Succeed.”