Help For Heroin Addicts

Published: Tuesday 10th of November 2015

Local drug treatment programs are seeing a huge increase in people seeking treatment for heroin addiction.

Chrissy Smith, Human Service Center Program Director, says they are currently helping about 135 people at their clinic.

“Unfortunately, there’s more people seeking services than we can provide. There’s a waiting list, and the number has just grown drastically, and quickly,” Smith said.

She says there are about 40 people on their waiting list everyday.

“Everyday, people are having opiate overdoses, whether they’re actually dying from those overdoses or not, everyday something like that is happening.”

Smith says pregnant women get top priority on their waiting list, as do injection drug users, and those who have been on the list the longest. The center’s treatment program relies on state funding.

The Human Service Center’s Methadone/Suboxone program is one of three locally, but’s the only one funded by the State of Illinois.

Smith says patients who seek help at the Peoria Treatment Center in East Peoria, and Peoria’s Rose Medical Associates, have to pay for Methadone and Suboxone.

She says Methadone can run about $70-$90 a week. Suboxone, available at pharmacies, is covered by some Medicaid, managed care programs, and some private insurance. Suboxone is very expensive, costing up to $30 a day.

Smith says the Human Service Center has enough state funding to provide addiction-fighting medication for roughly 100 people.

In light of the state’s current budget stalemate, Smith says they are lucky to still be able to provide services. She says they’re operating like there is a budget, hoping that one will be cleared at some point.

Smith says the Human Service Center does residential medication-assisted treatment, outpatient treatment, and can link people with Mental Health Services, and suggest coordinating treatment with their primary care doctors.

Read the full story on the WMBD website.