MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The opioid crisis has hit southwest and central Virginia especially hard. In fact, Pinnacle Treatment Centers say someone dies of an overdose every four hours in the Commonwealth.
Martinsville didn’t have enough resources to combat the growing opioid crisis until Pinnacle Treatment Centers opened a brand new facility in the city.
Melissa Brown is one of many who tried numerous treatment centers before Martinsville Treatment Services, which held its grand opening on Tuesday, July 12.
“I had a run-in with the police, actually ended up incarcerated, and decided I didn’t want to live that life anymore,” said Brown.
The regional director of Pinnacle Treatment Centers in Virginia, David Cassise, says Martinsville Treatment Services is using two synthetic opioids that can permanently wean a patient off of opioids. The treatment helps cut back on relapses and decrease deaths.
“A lot of people say we’re giving one drug for another because we are using methadone and suboxone. They are synthetic opioids, but they do the same thing for someone that has opioid use disorder as somebody who’s on medicine for diabetes,” said Cassise.
He says theses drugs are breaking barriers when it comes to opioid addiction.
“This really is the most effective treatment,” Cassise said. “There’s 50 years of research and it has been researched more than any other treatment. It’s more effective than back surgery.”
In addition, Martinsville Treatment Services operates in an office-based, outpatient format, so patients can go about their daily lives while still getting the treatment they need.
“They live with their families or by themselves in the community,” said Nicholas Cawby, executive director of Martinsville Treatment Services, adding that this is less restrictive than an intensive outpatient or residential program and allows patients to live and work in the community.
The center also offers other treatments. According to Cassise, most patients who come in for help have co-occurring mental health disorders, which can push them to reach for opioids.
“Because of mental health issues, they medicate themselves, and what we are seeing a lot of is they have friends and family that have prescription pills, and sometimes it helps numb the pain,” said Cassise.
Therapy is offered individually or in groups to combat mental health disorders associated with addiction.
If you or anyone you know struggles with opioid addiction, click here to see what programs are available at Martinsville Treatment Services.