MarinHealth Medical Center has received a $126,000 government grant to start a medication assisted treatment program for opioid addiction in its emergency department. Dylan Carney, M.D., emergency physician and assistant medical director of the Marin Health Emergency Department, said one of the main objectives is to change the way practitioners in the emergency department think about addiction. In 2019, there were 165 opioid overdoses in Marin County, California through October, and 11 Marin residents have died of drug overdoses.
In the past, the medical center, formerly known as Marin General Hospital, would treat and stabilize individuals who overdosed and then discharge them with a phone number or address for an outpatient drug treatment clinic. However, according to Dr. Carney, a 2015 clinical trial demonstrated that starting individuals on buprenorphine in the emergency department and assisting them in linking up with an outpatient treatment program before withdrawal symptoms develop doubles the likelihood of them remaining in a 30-day treatment program.
Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, provides relief of withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours without significant euphoria, sleepiness, or respiratory depression. Dr. Carney’s goal is to get as many MarinHealth physicians as possible licensed to prescribe buprenorphine – which requires eight hours of classes. Currently, 16 have signed up for training.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is supplying the funding for the MarinHealth grant, is also funding other efforts to boost the use of medication assisted treatment in Marin. Marin Treatment Center received $100,000 to increase the availability of medications for addiction treatment in criminal justice settings.
Established by the State of California in 1946, Marin Healthcare is responsible for promoting the health and welfare of the residents of Marin County. This includes maintaining county-wide access to care through the Marin Healthcare District Health Centers and ensuring that the hospital is in seismic compliance and ready to meet the needs of residents in the event of a natural disaster. Marin Healthcare District serves as a strong advocate for high quality care, provides a forum to discuss health care issues that affect the communities, and provides oversight of major transactions, board appointments, and the hospital’s performance goals.
This was reported by the Marin Independent Journal on November 27, 2019.
Contact information: Marin Healthcare District, 100-B Drake’s Landing Road, Suite 250, Greenbrae, California 94904; 415-464-2090; Website: www.marinhealthcare.org