ALTON – Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, recently announced award of a five-year, $2,625,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for people with an opioid use disorder (OUD) in the Metro East area.

With this grant, Centerstone will help 350 adult OUD clients residing in Calhoun, Madison, Montgomery, Macoupin, Green, Jersey, Bond, and St. Clair counties in Illinois, all counties designated medically underserved areas.

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Here are a few startling statistics regarding the counties served by the grant:

  • In St. Clair County from 2017-2018, fatal opioid overdoses increased by 235%
  • Jersey (76.8), St. Clair (59.8), Madison (56.9) and Montgomery (47.1) have significantly higher opioid dispensing rates than Illinois (43.1)
  • Macoupin has a 1,890:1 patient-to-mental health provider ratio
  • Only three MAT treatment programs are available in the grant’s counties
  • Madison is ranked 2nd and Jersey 4th in Illinois for the highest opioid-related emergency room visits
  • 42% of those residing in the grant’s counties received prescription opioids, and 599 experienced opioid/heroin overdoses in 2020
  • An estimated 5,100 adults in the counties covered by the grant have an OUD and another 3,100+ are expected to have OUD and a co-occurring disorder (COD)

The grant will enhance/expand access to MAT services, and increase by 350 the number of persons receiving MAT and maintaining abstinence from opioids such as heroin or pain pills. In addition, the grant will ensure comprehensive treatment for all clients, along with wraparound supports and linkages to other care needed. Recognizing the new health care environment brought about by COVID-19, the project will provide telehealth services to a minimum of 100 clients.

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In addition, persons in recovery along with other providers, family members, and project staff will comprise an advisory group that will guide the project. Collaboration with law enforcement and corrections facilities, staff and community education around OUD and MAT, and improved client outcomes from treatment, are also project goals.

“Prevalent OUD and limited access to treatment in the eight counties results in negative health outcomes,” said Stacy Seitz, Centerstone Clinical Director. “In 2019 in Illinois, 80% of drug overdoses involved opioids compared to 70% nationally. Opioid overdoses caused 2.3 times more deaths than homicide, twice as many deaths as car crashes, and accounted for more than 16,000 emergency management system responses.”

About Centerstone

Centerstone is a not-for-profit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Services are available nationally through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth and an inpatient hospital. Centerstone also features specialized programs for the military community, therapeutic foster care, children’s services and employee assistance programs. Centerstone’s Research Institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging the best practices for use in all our communities. Centerstone’s Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives.

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