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Opiate Rehab Isn't Working? | Hold Up


– At least 23 million Americans are addicted to opiates, including heroin

And if we want to understand the crisis, we have to look at the solution The most common of which, is something we've all heard of Rehab But, hold up Traditional rehab isn't working

First off, there's no national oversight over recovery centers which means there's no official success rate But experts say it's only around 10 to 30% which means 70 to 90% of patients will relapse That doesn't sound like it's working And it's not like rehab's bad record is anything new Even shows like 'Breaking Bad' portray its darker realities

– Why I'm here in the first place is to sell you meth – That was during an NA meeting and in 'Euphoria's' pilot episode, Zendaya's title character goes to buy drugs right after she leaves rehab – Uh, but low key, is Ashtray in the back? – You serious? – What, you think 'cause I went to rehab, I stayed clean? – So what's going on? For starters, only 10% of people who need treatment have access to it It happened to Scott – I've struggled with homelessness and drug addiction for a while now

And a lot of people just don't understand because they've never been there But, when you're stuck in addiction, a lot of the times you don't wanna be there, you know? If you wanted to see a private doctor it was hundreds of dollars and even rehabs and stuff were really hard to get into depending on your insurance and whatnot – Yeah And how long were you struggling with opiate addiction before? – I've struggled on and off for about 10 years now – [Yoonj] 10 years in rehab is a long time

But opioid treatment itself hasn't changed much over the past couple decades How many patients have you known who've died of an overdose over the years? – A lot – A lot of people – It's a lot It's heartbreaking and for those there's also been quite a few suicides too

So we look at the combination of all of that happening It's devastating We're a quick fix society in general and we want something that's gonna take the pain away immediately, fix the problem immediately When you're looking at cancer treatment, you've got social workers on board, you've got nutritionists on board You're really covering this broad spectrum

– So what would you say then is the biggest barriers for people suffering from addiction, opiate addiction? – I would say cost – Yeah – Location – Right – Childcare

– Right Like transportation? – Yeah, oh yeah Getting from place to place Who's gonna watch your kids? How much time are you gonna be able to get off from work? – Right That's why the Center for Treatment Innovation or COTI was launched in New York state

It breaks down a lot of these barriers and Chad is its program director, working with recovering addicts like Scott It's a mobile treatment center using telepractice – Basically, it's almost like they identified all the barriers that people struggle with trying to engage in treatment and said, "Let's create this program to overcome all these barriers" And then we like to go out and do that which is awesome – [Yoonj] So there's a doctor or physician's assistant in the actual office

– And then that person will talk to me on the screen via a laptop or if it's in our van, we have the larger laptop set up – Got it So it's basically a way for your patients to access medical care or a PA or a doctor's advice from wherever remote location – Yes, regarding medically-assisted treatment and it's at locations that don't have enough providers available there – [Yoonj] And only the first appointment has to be in-person to get tested or get certain medications

– So we can have folks provide a urine sample in these So amphetamines such as any kind of Adderall or something like that Oftentimes folks are struggling with stimulants as well in the community – [Yoonj] So once the patient gets through the in-person screening, the van will go out to them every week or however many times they need to check in – We'll try and figure out how quickly can we get them in front of a provider so that they can get a script or some suboxone so that they don't have to use heroin tomorrow

– So from your experience, what do you think is the most effective treatment for addiction? – The treatment that the person feels most comfortable engaging in – [Yoonj] And so far, this new treatment method of meeting addicts where they're at seems to be working – [Shania] I've been sober for a little over a year – [Yoonj] Okay – So, I just had a baby about six weeks ago

So I was sober the whole time and a little bit before that – How long before were you battling addiction? – Since I was 14 – Before, did you do any other sort of treatment or go to any rehab? – Probably five outpatients and probably five inpatients too I had eight months sober before I relapsed and got involved with the COTI project I was kicked out of an outpatient 'cause that was my first relapse

– So what makes COTI different besides that? – Well, they'll go out of their way Like, I've never had an outpatient or inpatient bring me to appointments, court dates, probation They've even offered to come to my house 'cause I just had a baby So, they'll come to meet me there so I don't have to get her ready and myself ready to go out – So now is the longest you've been sober? – Yes

– When somebody wants to get treatment and you can help them achieve that goal, that's so rewarding because now they feel like they're on a right path Nobody should run into being frustrated because it's like they want help, they want treatment, but everywhere they turn is running into a brick wall and not getting anywhere Nothing's more frustrating than that

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