SIU Family Medicine to launch drug treatment


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- Staff at the SIU Center for Family Medicine are preparing to launch a new program to help patients addicted to opioid drugs in March or April.

The program would use medication assisted treatment, using the drug buprenorphine along with counseling and other support, said Dr. Careyana Brenham, Residency Director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine.   

“Even though they are on the medication, which is helping the withdrawal symptoms and preventing the craving … they still may need support in those situations where that becomes available,” Brenham said. “Our process is going to be that we actually have counseling support and have a process where they’re getting a full spectrum of support and treatment all at the same time.”

Brenham said all physicians and second and third year residents have trained on medication assisted treatment. In the program’s first year, each prescriber can only prescribe the medication to thirty patients; they will be able to prescribe for 100 patients after that, Brenham said.

SIU School of Medicine Dean Jerry Kruse said he expects the project to grow.

“We’ll start with our own patients, and we’ll see where it goes,” Kruse said. “This will be a prototype program that can be expanded. We’ll want other people to join us in doing this. We’ll add a Naloxone program, which is just the medication that reverses the effects of the opioids.”

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