Consistent with national and state trends, opioid overdoses continue to impact individuals of all ages and backgrounds in the Fairfax Health District. The CSB is diligently working to fulfill the demands required of this epidemic by offering various services to meet the needs of the community. The Addiction Medicine Clinic (AMC) at the CSB's Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health is a lifesaving program that provides medication-assisted withdrawal services and substance use disorder treatment to adults in an outpatient setting.
WHAT IS THE ADDICTION MEDICINE CLINIC?
The Addiction Medicine Clinic is the CSB’s only outpatient provider of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. The AMC provides substance use disorder services through Office-Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT), formerly known as Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT). AMC also supports clients who are adding buprenorphine to their services while in another CSB substance use disorder treatment program. AMC is based at the Sharon Bulova Center with weekly satellite clinics at the Gartlan Center and the Northwest Center.
What makes the AMC unique is the commitment to the treatment of addiction through the application of the medical model. This model recognizes that Addiction is a disease, and the treatment team is therefore committed to maintaining the position to provide evidence-based care to individuals who qualify for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). What makes the AMC different from an abstinence-based model is that the AMC continues to care for a patient at the AMC even if they return to use. Each patient is assigned a treatment team from the moment they walk in the door. They are provided compassionate non-judgmental care by their identified nurse, physician or prescriber, and case manager.
WHAT IS MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, Antabuse and Vivitrol in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. These prescribed medications help to normalize brain chemistry, reduce the feelings of euphoria when using drugs, relieve physiological cravings, and stabilize the body without the negative effects of the abused drug.
MAT is medically based and treats addiction as a disease. The primary medication used in MAT at the CSB for the treatment of opioid dependence is buprenorphine. Specialized training is required before a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant can prescribe this medication.
WHO IS ELLIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THESE SERVICES?
To be eligible for services, you must:
- Be a resident of Fairfax County or the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
- Be age 18 or older.
- Be able to access outpatient services (you must be able to get to the Sharon Bulova Center for your appointments).
- Be medically and psychiatrically stable enough for MAT.
- Have a recent assessment for AMC services.
HOW IS THE AMC CHANGING LIVES?
As opioid, and specifically fentanyl, overdoses and overdose deaths continue to insidiously exist in our communities, the CSB provides quick and accessible care to prevent injury and death from opioid use. Without MAT, 75% of individuals are likely to return to the use of substances. Conversely, when individuals are engaged in a supportive treatment program such as the AMC, approximately 75% are able to achieve recovery.
The AMC prides itself in scheduling first-time appointments swiftly. This is because the amount of time lapsed from initial call to initial appointment directly correlates with the level of risk that person is experiencing. Additionally, the AMC has a specific protocol for individuals reintegrating into the community from the Adult Detention Center. Because these individuals are at high risk of overdose, the AMC smoothly transitions these individuals with no gap in service.
In the first half of 2023, the AMC has supported over 200 individuals in their recovery by providing engagement, medication management, case management, and clinical support. The CSB has been leading the path in outpatient addiction treatment being the first in Virginia to offer outpatient medically managed withdrawal treatment in 2013 and continues to offer innovative lifesaving services to individuals in our community.
Visit the AMC’s website for more information.
Watch a video to hear from an individual who benefited from services at the AMC.
For media inquiries, contact CSBCommunications@fairfaxcounty.gov.