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Opioid Abuse

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Opioid Abuse

Battling the Opioid Epidemic Head-On

WellSpan has a deep commitment to advancing care and community partnerships to battle opioid/substance use disorder, a priority identified in our 2019–2021 Community Health Improvement Plan. Over the past three years, we have expanded our best practice work, engaged with community partners, and implemented innovative programs. We are addressing the epidemic head-on. In addition to engaging in seven community collaboratives across the WellSpan service area, our clinical teams took action to reduce opioid prescribing.

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Some major accomplishments over the past few years include:

  • Since May 2019, 2.4 million fewer oxycodone pills prescribed.
  • Expanded support for those with substance use disorder, and introduction of opioid pain management options.
    • Dedicated Addictionologist to lead addiction service strategies.
    • Provided medication-assisted treatment to about 2,000 individuals in the last three years, with 538 intakes in 2022.
    • Established WARM Line call center for individuals seeking addiction resources and treatment.
    • Built Foundations Pregnancy Support Program, with 97% abstinence rate for more than six months.

Success Story

"I'm 42 years old. I have dealt with severe opioid use disorder since I was 18 years old. So, it’s been a long time. Over the years, I have been homeless, put a child up for adoption, and did all the things that come with addiction. By the grace of God, I have survived many serious medical issues and diagnoses. My disease of addiction has landed me in many hospitals, five rehabs, and two correctional facilities….Learning how to live is hard. Being responsible for keeping appointments, planning meals, managing money, and managing relationships while dealing with the consequences of my addiction is very challenging for me….

"This is where John, my recovery specialist, steps in. He was there for me to help me with my sister’s death. I don’t know where I would be without his help. John is great at messaging me throughout the week to let me know that someone is thinking about me, someone who respects my feelings, who cares, who boosts my confidence and who really tries to help me to make a plan to resolve whatever I’m having anxiety about….

"Everybody deserves quality care for their disease or addiction and to have someone there for them. The MAT program and the recovery specialists at WellSpan have truly guided me to a sense of normalcy in my life. Having John in my corner has changed my life as I learn about my illness and what I need to do to adjust to living life on life’s terms."

-Excerpts from a written reflection by JT, an Adams County resident and participant in the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program


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