(July 16, 2019)
Colorado has extended its rural opioid treatment program, says KUNC. The state had previously only passed the Medication-assisted Treatment Pilot Program in 2017 as a two-year trial run. It funded community opioid treatment clinics in both Pueblo and Routt counties, where fatal overdose rates had been high in 2016. Since then the program has helped treat over 700 patients. It also helped ten nurses and assistant physicians become federally-qualified to prescribe medically-assisted treatments (MATs). Gov. Jared Polis signed the program to a two-year extension and increased its funding to $2.5 million.
The program has brought opioid treatment clinics into rural areas where they hadn’t been before. Opioid patients had to travel to Denver or Grand Junction before the funding placed opioid rehab clinics nearby. Such clinics primarily treat opioid addiction with MATs like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. But they’ve recently begun to treat methamphetamine addictions with the same medicines, and hope for the same successful treatments they’ve since 2017.