September 20, 2019
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A Maine hospital has started to prescribe Suboxone to ER patients

Beth Brogan | BDN
Beth Brogan | BDN
Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick has become the first in the state to begin prescribing Suboxone for opioid addiction in the hospital’s emergency department.

Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick has become the first in the state to begin prescribing Suboxone for opioid addiction in the hospital’s emergency department.

The ED/ARC (Addiction Resource Center) Enhanced Referrals for Suboxone and Alcohol program allows emergency physicians to treat low-risk alcohol withdrawal and opioid withdrawal and also to begin treating patients with Suboxone while still in the emergency department, according to a release from the hospital.

The program, which also includes the emergency department’s Behavioral Health Crisis Team, has shown “positive results” in its first several months, according to the hospital.

Dr. Ranjiv Advani of the Mid Coast emergency department said in the release that the program takes advantage of patients already in the emergency department to begin treatment.

“If that opportunity is not seized at that moment, it may not present again,” he said.

Dr. Leah Bauer of Mid Coast’s Addiction Resource Center, said combining substance abuse and mental health treatment significantly increases patient access and improved outcomes in opioid dependence.

After patients begin treatment in the emergency department, they are referred to the ARC for treatment, and in most cases, have appointments for the ARC on the next business day, according to the release.

Between the start of the program in mid-October and the end of January, 11 patients were referred to the ARC and nine arrived at their first ARC treatment session, according to the hospital.

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