GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new medical detox program has started in Grand Rapids as substance abuse numbers rise.
Hope Network added the new program to their Center For Recovery Thursday.
“We saw a huge increase in substance use with pandemic, with isolation that people experienced because of social distancing because of not being able to engage in normal activities,” said Dr. Jean Talmsa, the medical director for Hope Network’s Center for Recovery. “With that isolation came an increase in substance use disorder.”
In West Michigan, fatal overdoses doubled in spring 2020 compared to spring 2019, they said, while nationwide, “13% of U.S. adults reported either starting or increasing substance use since COVID-19 started” in 2020, compared to 7.7% of adults who reported a use disorder in 2019.
Hope Network said that an estimated 412,000 Michigan residents are not getting the substance abuse treatment they need from a specialty facility, citing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“The current shortage of medical detox facilities means patients are often put on a waiting list, which delays treatment, prolongs suffering and leaves people at risk for overdose or suicide,” Phil Weaver, Hope Network president and CEO, said.
Patients will receive both medical and social support to help curb the use of substances including opioids, alcohol and sedatives. A residential option in northeast Grand Rapids will allow patients to live on site if necessary while getting the treatment they need.
“We’ve had a lot of inquiries already. We did already have one admission …,” Talsma said. “Hopefully it’ll continue to grow.”
Talsma adds that others who aren’t struggling with addiction can help address the issue.
“If you have a family member or friend who may be suffering with substance abuse disorder or have a problem with a substance, have a conversation with them,” Talsma said. “Sometimes it takes a long time for folks to recognize their own problem behavior.”
Those interested in the program can call 833.903.2280.