One clinic in the Black Hills takes a stance on the opioid epidemic
This nationwide program, Medication Assisted Therapy, or MAT helps people who are addicted to opioids or heroin get back on the right track. Along with therapy at the Addiction Recovery Center of the Black Hills, the new program gives people FDA approved medications that help with withdrawal and cravings.
"You could parallel it with Chantix for smoking or nicotine replacement products for smokers, same kind of concept. This is much safer, much less addicting and gives them a fighting chance to stay off of heroin, stay off of street drugs, stay off of opioids," says Dr. Steven Tamang, the medical director for the MAT Program.
President Donald Trump signed a law trying to take down addiction. The "support for patients and communities" act includes provisions aimed at promoting research to find new, non-addictive pain management drugs. Similar to what the MAT program promotes.
"The dollars are coming out of Washington to make sure that we can get that help for these people out there, because it's not only killing people, it's destroying families," says Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio.
This week marked the opening of the MAT program in Rapid City, with 30 people already on the waiting list, hoping to get in.
"Have an open mind. That this can work and it's not really replacing a drug with a drug," says Doug Austin, the CEO of the Addiction Recovery Center of the Black Hills.
If you would like more information on the MAT Program find that here: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
The website for the Addiction Recovery Center of the Black Hills: https://www.arcbh.org/