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HRMC Offers Medically Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Oct 13, 2020 09:19AM ● By MED Magazine

Dramatic increases in the number of opioid prescriptions have led to a crisis in our nation and in South Dakota, according to the Avoid Opioid Prescription Addiction program.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, 37 people died due to opioid addiction in 2019 – up from 27 in 2018. Providers at hospitals across the state, including Huron Regional Medical Center, are committed to reducing opioid prescriptions by offering alternative pain treatment options, such as therapy and nerve blocks, and prescribing only the amount of opioid needed when appropriate.

Additionally, HRMC’s newest internal medicine physician Christopher Bronson, MD, is offering medically assisted treatment at the HRMC Physicians Clinic.

Not every person who is prescribed opioids gets addicted, according to Dr. Bronson. But for some, they can become tolerant - which means that more of the drug is needed to obtain its effects. It is also possible to become dependent on opioids. This means that if a person stops taking them, they feel sick and experience withdrawal. Dependence is not the same as addiction, but sometimes dependence leads to addiction.

Dr. Bronson is certified to prescribe buprenorphine, which is one of three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction. The medication is administered slowly and under careful supervision. A patient taking buprenorphine feels normal, not high. However, the brain thinks it is receiving the problem opioid, so withdrawal symptoms stay away. Buprenorphine also reduces cravings. 

For more information or to make an appointment, call the HRMC Physicians Clinic at 605-353-7660 or visit www.hrmcphysiciansclinic.org