Partnership Fights Illinois’ Opioid Crisis from a South Suburban Emergency Room

Hazel Crest, Illinois – Advocate South Suburban Hospital, in Hazel Crest, Ill., and The South Suburban Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, a Hazel Crest-based treatment facility,today announce a formal partnership that offers new hope to South Chicagoland families and individuals struggling with opioid addiction.

Specially-trained Advocate South Suburban emergency physicians recently began administering Medication Assisted Treatments -the FDA-approved medication Buprenorphine -tooffer patients seeking treatment for withdrawal and other painful symptoms related to opioid drug addiction a fighting chance for sobriety.

Patients receiving MAT in the Advocate South Suburban Emergency Room are automatically referred to the South Suburban Council for continuation of their recovery care.

“Regardless of whether they are in the form of prescribed painkillers or illicit drugs, opioids are highly addictive and nearly impossible to overcome through abstention treatments, like 12 Steps, alone,”says Dr. Ronald Lawton, an emergency medicine physician at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. “The partnership between Advocate and the South Suburban Council provides a seamless, continuum of care that addresses the physical, emotional and practical barriers that often stand in the way of sobriety.”

MATs, make quitting a real possibility by effectively preventing withdrawal symptoms, relieving or reducing drug cravings, and blocking the effects of taking opioids. These medicationshelppatients feel “normal” as they either complete the stages of drug withdrawal or are gradually weaned from the drug. As a result, patients can focus on counselling needs, employment and housing, instead of the physically-challenging aspects of quitting.

“The odds of reachingone-year sobriety are many timeshigher when people with opioid overuse disorderuse MAT as part of a multi-faceted approach to treatment,” Dr. Lawton adds.

“Having a formal relationship with Advocate South Suburban empowers us –the patient, the counselor and the physician–to turn lives around right here in the emergency room,” says Bradley Stein, executivedirector, South Suburban Council. “This formal partnership puts usin very good position to reduce the number of Illinois lives being claimed by opioid addiction.”

In 2017, opioid-related overdoses claimed the lives of 2,199 Illinoisans, the state says. That’s nearly twice the number of homicides and more than double the number of those killed in car accidents in Chicago. This total nearly doubles the number of Illinois lives claimed by overdoses in 2013.

About Advocate South Suburban Hospital

Advocate South SuburbanHospital, a designated Primary Stroke Center, has provided high-quality, compassionate care to the residents of Chicago’s Southern Suburbs since 1971. Our board-certified physicians have expertise in more than 50 subspecialties, including advanced heart attack and stroke care, advanced levels of treatment in surgery that serves as a model for other health care providers. Our Emergency Department team care model and triage delivery system minimize wait time and enhance care coordination, while our multi-disciplinaryapproach to in-patient care optimizes discharge planning and bedside engagement between providers, patients and family members. Advocate South Suburbanis part of Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health system in the United States. We help people live well.

About the South Suburban Council

The South Suburban Council has been providing a continuum of treatment and recovery support services to the residents of Chicago’s Southern Suburbs andNorthwest Indiana since 1967. Licensed by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Use Prevention and Recovery and certified for Medicaid reimbursement. The South Suburban Council’s multidisciplinary team consists of a Medical Director, Certified Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Counselors, Case Managers, Dietician, Psychiatrists, CODP, LCP, Assessment and Referral Counselors, Dual Diagnosis Counselors, Recovery Coaches and Licensed Registered Nurses. The Council’s Programs consist of Inpatient, Residential, Outpatient, Central Intake, Crisis stabilization, Recovery Homes (developmental), MAT and Community Outreach. We strive to save lives.

Contact: Cassie Richardson
Public Affairs and Marketing

Advocate South Suburban Hospital
17800 Kedzie Ave.| Hazel Crest, IL | 60429

For Immediate Release April 10, 2019

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