In March 2016 KANA was awarded $325,000 by Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services at existing health centers, with a focus on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders.
The Behavioral Health department has begun to implement their Substance Abuse Expansion project and is moving forward with efforts to integrate our medical treatment with newly available opioid treatment options. The treatment combines traditional substance abuse treatment, such as therapy and meetings, with medications like buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone and naloxone. KANA’s Behavioral Health department has already been working closely with physicians to screen patients for mental health symptoms during medical exams and will continue to enhance their collaborative care model in order to increase the number of patients being screened for substance use disorders.
As part of the service expansion, the physicians are receiving specialized training and education resources focused on MAT and include updated prescriber guidelines that will help them make informed prescribing decisions to prevent the over-prescribing of opioids. In addition, we are looking to expand our staff to include a counselor dedicated to people undergoing this type of treatment and who will assist in the coordination of services necessary for patients to achieve and sustain recovery. Ultimately, KANA would like to ensure that in the future these integrated services will be available to all families on Kodiak Island.