Whitehouse Helps Launch Partnership for Opioid Addiction Treatment

 Whitehouse Helps Launch Partnership for Opioid Addiction Treatment

CODAC, The Providence Center join forces to address opioid abuse

Recovery community, law enforcement laud Whitehouse legislation to stem public
health crisis
Providence, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today joined with leaders from
Rhode Island’s recovery community and law enforcement for a soft opening of CODAC
Behavioral Healthcare’s new facility co-located within The Providence Center on
North Main Street in Providence. CODAC and The Providence Center have joined forces
to provide complementary services, including the use of medication-assisted
treatment (MAT), for clients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders related to opioid
addiction and mental health.

«The partnership between CODAC and The Providence Center will better serve Rhode
Islanders walking the long, noble path of recovery,» said Whitehouse. «We need to
ensure people struggling with addiction can get the best possible services, like
those offered at CODAC and The Providence Center. That’s why I authored the
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to help the health care providers, law
enforcement, first responders, and family members on the front lines of this public
health crisis.»

The Providence Center provides addiction treatment, mental health care, recovery
support, housing, and employment services for more than 13,000 Rhode Islanders
annually. CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Rhode Island’s oldest and largest outpatient
opioid treatment provider has-with the opening of the new North Main Street
location-six facilities across the state offering treatment, recovery, and
prevention services for patients struggling with substance use disorders and other
behavioral health issues. CODAC will begin treating clients at its facility
co-located within The Providence Center on Monday, August 8, and is planning a full
opening in September.

The new collaboration was established to provide more comprehensive and accessible
services for individuals in need of treatment for both mental health and substance
use disorders. The goal is to expand capacity to reach those currently receiving
care from CODAC and The Providence Center, and those not yet in treatment. In
addition to comprehensive behavioral health care, CODAC offers two forms of MAT:
methadone maintenance and Suboxone, also known as buprenorphine. As part of a
medically-supervised dosage program, MAT treats opioid addiction with synthetic
narcotics that block the effects of prescribed and illegal opioids and reduce
cravings for the drugs. MAT also prevents the extreme withdrawal symptoms that
occur when opioid use is discontinued.

«Senator Whitehouse, who co-authored the recently-signed CARA bill, is truly a
champion in the national fight against opioid addiction,» said Linda Hurley,
President and CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare. «CARA is the result of the
Senator’s understanding of the issues, his persistence in educating others, and his
commitment to getting it right and seeing it through. CODAC is honored to have
been consulted by the Senator’s team in their efforts to craft this thoughtful,
comprehensive and crucial piece of legislation. Our hope is that Congress will
follow through and provide the requisite funding to support the recommendations in
this bill-including more collaborations like the one between CODAC and The
Providence Center. Our goal-and CARA’s goal-is to provide seamless and
comprehensive care in the treatment of opioid addiction, the prevention of overdose,
and the support of long-term recovery.»

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), authored by Whitehouse along
with Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), will expand
access to MAT across the country. CARA, which was signed into law on July 22,
establishes a range of other policies to prevent and treat addiction to opioid
drugs, including programs to increase education about drug use, to improve
prescription drug monitoring programs, and to promote comprehensive state responses
to the opioid crisis.

«Senator Whitehouse has been a leader and advocate for families and individuals
living with substance use and mental health disorders for many years,» said Dale K.
Klatzker, President of The Providence Center. «He understands this public health
crisis, and the passage of CARA indicates that other policy makers in Washington,
D.C. finally do as well. The Providence Center has an unwavering commitment to
innovative community based services that deliver the care individuals need at the
time and place they need it. We are grateful for his persistence and the new
community partnerships CARA will inspire.»

Beginning in 2014, as part of the process of drafting their bill, Whitehouse,
Portman, Klobuchar and Ayotte brought together experts and practitioners from the
prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and recovery communities from across the
United States to share best practices in their fields at national forums and as part
of a working group. Rhode Island organizations, including CODAC Behavioral Health,
The Providence Center-affiliated Anchor Recovery, and Phoenix House, had a role in
informing the legislation.

«This vital piece of legislation will provide funding options for law enforcement
agencies around the country to get a better handle on the opiate crisis that has
plagued urban cities,» said Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
«The opening of the CODAC treatment center within the Providence Center will allow
our officers more resources and treatment options for individuals who are struggling
with addiction. I commend Senator Whitehouse and his team and look forward to our
continued partnerships with these agencies.»

In Rhode Island in 2015, 258 people lost their lives to overdoses – more than the
number of those killed in homicides, suicides, and car accidents combined.

A full summary of CARA is available