Grant Brings Medication Assisted Treatment to Wyoming

By Staff 4-13,2016

A new federal grant will help the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) expand “Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)” services to help meet the state’s growing need for effective treatment of prescription drug and heroin abuse.

The department’s Behavioral Health Division (BHD) was recently awarded a $1 million “Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment-Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction” grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first year of a possible three-year grant.

SAMHSA has identified Wyoming as one of several states with recent and concerning increases in heroin and other opioid use (most often prescription painkillers) among its residents.

WDH data shows admissions into treatment for heroin have increased from 58 individuals in state fiscal year 2011 to 132 individuals in state fiscal year 2015. Opiates and other synthetic drug use treatment admissions have increased from 262 in state fiscal year 2011 to 345 in state fiscal year 2015. “Both heroin and opiate treatment admissions are unfortunately continuing an upward trend in the current fiscal year,” said Margarete Loghry, Quality Management and Outcomes Unit and MAT Grant Program manager with the WDH Behavioral Health Division.

“Medication assisted treatment is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to be effective in helping people to achieve sustained recovery from opiate addiction,” Loghry said. Medication assisted treatment uses opioid antagonist medication therapies together with standard therapy and substance use treatment.  Opioid antagonist medications bind to the brain’s opiate receptors so that opioids, including heroin, are blocked from creating a high in users while also preventing withdrawal symptoms.

The BHD is working with Central Wyoming Counseling Center (CWCC) in Casper and Southwest Counseling Service (SCS) in Rock Springs to establish MAT programs in their communities. These providers are developing and expanding current capacity to serve clients who may need medication to accompany their other substance use treatment activities. CWCC and SCS are both currently serving clients in this program; individuals interested in the MAT program may contact them directly for services.

The pilot programs in Casper and Rock Springs will be collecting and reporting data. “If we see the positive outcomes for consumers we expect from these efforts, future expansion of MAT programs within the state is something will we work toward,” Loghry said.

“We believe MAT can be very helpful for people who are seeking treatment so they may take steps toward living healthy, addiction-free lifestyles and also to maintain their recovery,” Loghry said.

For help in finding options for substance abuse treatment in Wyoming, please contact the BHD at (307) 777-6494. For specific information about the grant program, please contact Loghry at margarete.loghry@wyo.gov.

Contact information for pilot programs:

Central Wyoming Counseling Center

1430 Wilkins Cir, Casper, WY 82601

(307) 237-9583

Southwest Counseling Service

1124 College Dr, Rock Springs, WY 82901

(307) 352-6680

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