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Oregon Health Authority to expand opioid treatment facilities to rural communities

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SALEM, Ore. – As the nation faces a crisis with opioid abuse, those struggling with addiction in rural Oregon will soon have more access to treatment.

The Oregon Health Authority is allocating federal grant money to opioid treatment programs in parts of the state that didn’t have services available.

Health officials said that as of 2015, only seven Oregon counties had at least one treatment program – six of which were along the I-5 corridor. With the new money, they will open up programs to serve 11 counties.

The programs are state and federally-licensed facilities that offer medication (like methadone) along with counseling services to help people with their treatment.

Some money will also go toward outreach, along with naloxone training and distribution, and training for those in the facilities.

“Making treatment available to those who need it is an important part of OHA’s overall strategy in combating the opioid crisis,” said Dana Hargunani, MD, OHA chief medical officer. “We are grateful for the partnerships we have with federal and local partners to make a difference in the lives of Oregonians affected by opioid use disorder. While we continue to work on prevention strategies, we recognize that people who are struggling need access to effective treatment.”

The grant funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“At a time when so many Oregonians suffer from the ravages of opioid addiction, these new clinics will help provide the treatment proven effective to combat this epidemic devastating families statewide,” Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said. “Ensuring that people have access to the treatment they need is the smart way to fight this epidemic, and I look forward very much to these clinics playing a key role in this public health battle.”

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