Opioid crisis in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, WA - Kadlec Regional Medical Center and the Benton and Franklin County jails have partnered with Ideal Option and are receiving nearly $2 million dollars from the Washington Health Care Authority to help fight the opioid crisis in the Tri-Cities. 

The purpose of this grant is to help patients who are struggling with addiction in areas where treatment is harder to obtain such as emergency rooms or jails. 

The idea is to create a network where you will have nurse care managers, case managers and more people that can help these patients obtain all the services they need. 

Justin Kohler, RN, explains part of the problems emergency rooms face when it comes to treating patients who come in for opioid addiction is that the ER only manages symptoms rather than treating the main issue; addiction. 

Dr. Jeffrey Allgaeir with Ideal Option says the inability of hospitals, jails and practitioners to work together makes it difficult to give these patients the care they need.

The grant runs out in 20 months but the hope is that the network will be maintained. The message Ideal Option wants to emphasize is that this grant gives the community a real opportunity to fight this epidemic. 

Multi-Media Journalist

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