|By Amelia Dickson, The Daily World, Aberdeen, Wash.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"We've had a deluge of people coming to see us," Stenchever said. "We're getting people in as fast as we can, but the word has gotten out faster than we can handle."
And despite initial concerns from
"I am not aware of any issues over there whatsoever, other than a few issues with drivers not familiar with the one-way street," Myers wrote in an email.
Stenchever also runs the
He said he wasn't sure what to expect from
Before the opening of the Hoquaim clinic, about 50 patients were transported to the
"There were agencies around the county that didn't think that we could have a clinic here," Stenchever said. "They didn't think we had the resources, they didn't think we could get the counsellors, they didn't think we could get the medical staff. But we've showed that we can."
And those same resources have allowed the clinic to grow.
The first step to becoming an
He explained that these measures are necessary to make sure that drug seekers aren't allowed into the program. "They've got to show physical symptoms of being ill with withdrawal, blood pressure, eyes, that kind of thing," Stenchever said. "And you can't fake that."
New patients are then placed on a low dose of methadone and continue to meet with medical staff to find the correct dose, he said. They also meet with counsellors on a weekly basis for the first 90 days of treatments -- longer if they're still using heroin or other drugs.
Stenchever said he hopes to expand the clinic's treatment options in coming months to include Suboxone, another medication used for opioid replacement.
"We've had so many people coming in for the methodone we haven't even had time to think about the Suboxone," Stenchever said.
Opioid addiction is a "chronic condition," Stenchever said, so many patients will continue with some level of treatment throughout their lives.
"Opioid addiction is a long-term problem, so we get to work with them long-term and see the change," Stenchever said.
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