- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (AP) - A new outpatient clinic to help fight the growing heroin problem is planned for northern Kentucky.

The Kentucky Enquirer (https://cin.ci/1C3RuS5) reports the clinic will be a partnership between St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

The facility will offer treatments that combine medicine to help addicts stabilize and a 12-step counseling program for recovery.

“I think it’s a huge milestone,” said Chuck Washburn, St. Elizabeth’s system director of behavioral health. “But there are a lot of miles on the road left to travel.”

The partnership will allow St. Elizabeth staff to be trained in Hazelden’s Comprehensive Opioid Response 12 program.

“What we’ve done is really tried to pair scientific evidence with a holistic approach,” said Joe Jaksha, the publisher of Hazelden Publishing.

Washburn, who has overseen the hospital system’s effort to create an outpatient clinic for opiate addicts, said training is already scheduled for St. Elizabeth caregivers. He says the system isn’t waiting until the end of that training to provide treatment though.

“We are already, in a small way, starting to roll out some of this,” Washburn said. “You can see the momentum.”

According to The Enquirer, St. Elizabeth is one of only a few health organizations to partner with Hazelden, which has begun reaching out to help address addiction problems throughout the nation with prescription painkillers and heroin.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, https://www.nky.com

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