State officials have announced another tool to help physicians spot and treat drug abuse.
Rhode Island’s department of behavioral health is piloting a new program that offers doctors immediate assistance with patients who may be abusing medications or at risk of overdose. Doctors will be able to call Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services to request an assessment for a patient in their office within the hour, or in a few days’ time. The idea is to help doctors connect patients with the treatment they need as quickly as possible, right in the doctor’s office, to go beyond simply suggesting a patient seek help or handing out a list of treatment providers.
State health officials say that primary care physicians can be a good gateway for people dealing with substance abuse to get into treatment.
The program is one of several state health officials have announced recently to help combat Rhode Island’s high rates of drug addiction and overdose deaths.