ER Docs open medication assisted treatment clinic in Fremont
COVID-19 isn’t the only public health emergency occurring in the United States at this time. The opioid epidemic continues to run rampant, devastating the lives of thousands of people across the nation and has only continued to worsen during the pandemic.
In the state of Michigan, emergency medical services saw opioid overdoses increase by 33 percent from April to May of this year and they continue to remain elevated.
And this isn’t just an urban or downstate problem.
It’s a problem here in Newaygo County.
Who are those suffering from addiction?
“They are our sisters, neighbors, health care professionals, cousins, factory workers, teachers....anyone, “ said Dr. Josh VanderLugt, one of three emergency room physicians who have opened LTS Clinics, a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) clinic at the NC Mental Health satellite office located in the Fremont Rec Center. He is joined by Dr. Daniel J. Ceglowski and Dr. Carrie Clark and this trio of physicians hope to make an impact on the ongoing opioid issue our county faces.
Medication assisted treatment is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to help those suffering from opioid addiction.
“MAT is a feasible way to manage the addiction and opens the door for sustained recovery,” stated VanderLugt. “We don’t want to see one more person lose their job, their family and their life and we want to be part of their success in finding recovery.”
In October of 2015 Newaygo County Mental Health began providing the treatment option under the guidance of Dr. Bruce Baker, an addictionologist specializing in MAT. It was expanded to include Arbor Circle the following year.
“This is a critical component of treating Opioid addictions,” said NCMH Executive Director Carol Mills. “We developed MAT in Newaygo County to begin to solve the Opioid crisis here in our community.”
Unfortunately those with private insurance are not eligible for MAT at NCMH leaving a critical gap in the access of these vital services. And that’s where LTS Clinics enters the picture.
According to Dr. Ceglowski, access has been one of the primary issues.
“This is an unmet need in Newaygo County and it’s not realistic to have people driving to Grand Rapids or elsewhere to access services they should be able to obtain in their own community.
“There are a lot of people dying who don’t need to be dying. Bringing MAT here, making it accessible will save lives in this community.”
The new clinic will allow Newaygo County residents who have private insurance and may not qualify for MAT services at Newaygo CMH or Arbor Circle, to get these services without having to travel to a metropolitan area. It also gives people more choices and options for physicians. Having a p available in the evening is vital for those who work full time and LTS hours for now are Fridays from 4-7pm.
LTS Clinics clients are required to:
To make an appointment or for more information you can call 231.689.7601.
And the name of the clinic? LTS?
“Less Than Seven,” said Dr. VanderLugt. “It generally takes a person with opioid use disorder seven attempts at recovery before they’re successful.”
“Our goal is to bring that number down.”