New rehab clinic hopes to provide outpatient addiction treatment

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While many people who wish to seek treatment are forced to wait because of high demand, one local doctor thinks he has the solution to the issue.

He just opened an alternative clinic in the Richmond area.

Instead of a traditional residential rehab, Dr. James Thompson is opening a walk-in clinic, which is a new concept in drug addiction treatment.

The idea behind the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine in Henrico County is to truly treat addiction as a disease and offer outpatient services.

“The concept is to make addiction treatment more accessible, more mainstream,” Thompson said.

“We are partnered with a great team of psychiatrists and mental health therapists,” Thompson added. “The key being that we’re using multiple specialties all at once … all concerned with the treatment of addiction.

“One more day out there in an addict’s life can be catastrophic. Just one more day.”

Thompson said residential rehab can be expensive and not practical for those trying to hold a job or those with a family to care for. In regards to waiting lists, Thompson said that addicts cannot wait for help.

Those interested in seeking treatment should know that if you don’t have insurance, the center offers a cash pay system to keep prices low.

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Statistics:

  • Half of young people who used heroin got started by abusing prescription opioids.
  • One in fifteen individuals who misuse prescription opioid painkillers will try heroin within 10 years.
  • The number of opioid prescriptions has nearly tripled over the last 25 years, and the United States now accounts for nearly 100 percent of the world’s hydrocodone prescriptions and 81 percent for oxycodone.
  • The number of Americans abusing heroin nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012, with nearly 700,000 now abusing heroin.

In Virginia, abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise:

  • Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576.
  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 600 percent between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 342.
  • Fentanyl deaths have risen 367 percent from 2007 to 2015, from 48 to 224.
  • More than 500 people went to a Virginia emergency room from a heroin overdose in the first four months of 2016, a 250% increase over 2015.

Click here for more from Fighting the Fix.

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