Safe Start: An Evidence-Based Program in Response to the Opioid Crisis

Safe Start: An Evidence-Based Program in Response to the Opioid Crisis

By: Liz Stanislawski

Safe start program focusing on the opioid crisis at Cumberland HeightsThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that in 2017, more than 47,000 Americans lost their lives to opioid overdose. The tragedy of this nationwide occurrence has left so many broken families and communities in a state of disorder, as government agencies, healthcare professionals and organizations alike have been working diligently to combat the horrific outcomes that have resulted from the opioid crisis. Safe Start is an evidence-based program of Cumberland Heights that provides those struggling with moderate to severe opioid addiction with medication assisted treatment (MAT).

The MAT program utilizes Naltrexone, which is an opiate antagonist that works in the brain to prevent opiate effects such as euphoria, pain relief, etc. The generic form of the brand name Vivitrol, Naltrexone can help reduce someone’s desire to use opioids, but of course, this medication alone isn’t as effective as it would be combined with other forms of treatment. Dr. Chapman Sledge, Chief Medical Officer at Cumberland Heights, stated,

“The basis of a strong spiritual foundation in the recovery process is essential. Medication is only part of the solution.”

The Safe Start program at Cumberland Heights starts with an evaluation to determine if a potential client is a good fit; after that, and once Naltrexone has been assessed as a good fit for the individual, they will detox in a safe residential setting with 7-10 days to allow their opioid receptors to clear before starting the MAT. With this Safe Start program, a person will have everything they need to start restoring their mind, body and spirit. Intensive support is provided, and with 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), individuals are likely to be well on their way to safely transitioning from a life of active addiction – to one of recovery.

Once a person has transitioned out of residential treatment, Cumberland Heights will assist the individual in creating a plan in which they’ll receive the Naltrexone shot every 28 days. If a person’s recovery is going strong after a year, a person may they choose to discontinue the medication. If this is something you or a loved one may be interested in, please speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

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