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Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) is a private, 501c3 non-profit that has been providing evidence and research-based addiction treatment and social services in Washington state since 1973. Evergreen’s South Sound Clinic specializes in Medication-Assisted Treatment for individuals who want to overcome an addiction to opiates such as heroin or prescription pain pills. Our services provide patients in Thurston County and surrounding areas with daily methadone or buprenorphine dispensing, as well as comprehensive therapeutic services such as counseling. Our staff, including nurses and physicians, work closely with patients and their medical providers to ensure the highest quality care.
At South Sound Clinic, our staff of interdisciplinary addiction specialists believe that addiction is a treatable medical condition, and those who suffer from opiate addiction deserve quality, effective treatments in a welcoming atmosphere, where every patient is treated with dignity and respect. Our staff have advanced degrees in nursing, social work, psychiatry, medicine, psychology, counseling and acupuncture, and they apply their expertise in the creation and implementation of comprehensive, customized treatment plans that integrate pharmaceutical interventions with counseling for addiction issues and any co-occurring behavioral and mental health conditions underlying the addiction problems.
Medication-Assisted Therapy, which combines the stabilization of patients via daily doses of methadone or buprenorphine with targeted addiction and mental health counseling, is the gold standard for treatment in the field. Research has shown that long-term treatment with addiction medications such as methadone improve rates of patient success. The first year of Medication-Assisted Treatment shows the most dramatic gains for patients’ quality of life and overall functioning.
Our mission is to transform lives and communities through effective, innovative and compassionate opiate addiction treatment and social services, which includes counseling, education, medical interventions and regular, random drug screenings.
Evergreen Treatment Services’ South Sound Clinic provides a warm, welcoming facility staffed with compassionate and knowledgeable addiction specialists. South Sound Clinic provides a safe space for opiate-addicted individuals to free themselves from the controlling effects of heroin and other opiate drugs such as prescription pain medications through research-based Medication-Assisted Treatment. Our facility and staff utilize the highest quality, evidence-based and patient-centered interventions and technologies to facilitate long-term patient success.
Patients start their recovery journey with South Sound Clinic by first contacting the closest clinic and completing a phone screening that concludes by making an intake appointment. At this appointment, the facility’s intake staff will conduct a thorough assessment and physical, which includes drug testing via urinalysis. After considering the results, staff physicians decide the appropriate type and dosage of medication for the patient, and patients begin taking their medication that same day.
Throughout each patient’s Medication-Assisted Treatment at South Sound Clinic, whether they are being treated with methadone, buprenorphine or a medication that combines buprenorphine with naloxone, patients are required to regularly meet with counselors to create and implement a recovery plan, while also working on underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse. Patients are also required to attend a patient orientation and an educational session on family planning, communicable diseases, and blood borne pathogens.
Our methods are professional and ethical, with consistent integrity. We believe in the spirit of collaboration and are dedicated to helping patients achieve growth and autonomy by setting and meeting recovery goals. We value diversity and difference and promote a holistic treatment approach which encourages balance and wellness of body, mind and spirit. Our patient recovery plans change as the needs of our patients change, and as the clinic adapts to incorporate new scientific research and breakthroughs. We are committed to innovation, and show this by continually initiating and embracing change.
At South Sound Clinic, we provide an evidence-based therapeutic approach known as Medication-Assisted Treatment. This is the medical standard in the field of addiction recovery. Medication-Assisted Treatment facilitates patient success by first stabilizing patients’ brain chemistry through medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone, and then maintaining that stabilization so patients can benefit from therapeutic interventions and support services such as counseling, medical monitoring, and regular, random drug screens.
South Sound Clinic provides both one on one and group counseling. In group counseling, patients find strength and healing by both giving and receiving support, and by sharing and listening to others share. This kind of peer to peer support has been shown to greatly improve patient success. Also key to patient success is one on one or individual counseling, which allows patients to discover and address any underlying mental health disorder and work on specific issues of concern in a private, focused session.
Evergreen Treatment Services’ South Sound Clinic bases its care on the understanding that abuse of opiate drugs damages patients’ brain chemistry by hijacking the neurotransmitter system that controls motivation and pleasure. Drugs such as heroin and OxyContin enter the brain and bind to opioid receptors, where they cause a flood of dopamine to overwhelm the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that the brain uses to reward and reinforce life-sustaining activities such as eating food, and when the brain is flooded by 2 to 10 times the usual amount of dopamine, the brain immediately marks drug use as an “important” behavior, thereby training addicts to continually seek out opiates, even after they have recognized their problem and resolved to change.
These alterations in the brain’s reward system are the primary reason why opiate addiction requires professional, medical help to manage, and why Medication-Assisted Therapy continues to be the gold standard of addiction treatment.
Appropriate doses of medications such as buprenorphine and methadone stabilize patients’ brain chemistry and diminish withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that persist even after the body has fully detoxed from the patient’s drug of choice. This prevents relapse, and gives patients the time, energy, and focus to start working on the behavioral, psychological, environmental, and social issues they need to confront in order to free themselves from the burden of substance abuse.
South Sound Clinic promotes patient success by integrating federally accredited rehabilitative services, medical monitoring and testing, drug and disease education, and case management with daily dispensing of the appropriate addiction treatment medications in the appropriate dosages. Regular check-ins allow nurses and physicians to see how effective the prescribed drug is, and evaluate if changes need to be made. Medications such as methadone, and buprenorphine and buprenorphine combined with naloxone (Subutex and Suboxone, respectively), give patients the physical and emotional support they need to address psychological addiction issues and make life changes that will support their continued growth in recovery.
Studies have shown that patient recovery outcomes improve when patients are provided with the following services:
South Sound Clinic’s Opioid Treatment Program requires daily visits to the clinic for medication that is dispensed by nursing staff, and for medical monitoring and random drug tests that are used to evaluate the efficacy of the current medication and dosage. Patients also receive regular treatment interventions through therapeutic activities like individual and group counseling, provided within a controlled, structured program.
Once patients demonstrate marked improvement, they earn the right to progress to less structured program options, such as having weekly, biweekly or monthly medication dispensing. The approximate cost of South Sound Clinic’s Medication-Assisted Treatment is $18 a day—far less than the high cost and deadly risk of illicit and prescription drug abuse. We also accept payment through most forms of insurance, including Medicaid.
Americans are currently suffering from a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose. South Sound Clinic fights to stem the tide of overdose death and damaged lives through the application of Medication-Assisted Treatment, which has been shown to be the optimum approach to managing opiate addiction. Medication-Assisted Therapy has become the standard of care in addiction treatment because of its proven efficacy.
Opiate-addicted individuals are controlled by their drug use. Alterations in brain chemistry and damage to the brain’s reward system and ability to make sound decisions have caused them to prioritize obtaining and using drugs in a way that causes significant consequences in all areas of life. South Sound Clinic believes that addiction is a chronic disease that needs medications and support services to manage, much like hypertension or diabetes, and that recovering addicts deserve to experience the same level of understanding and respect that patients suffering any other medical condition would receive.
To remain in good standing with South Sound Clinic, patients must abstain from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs, attend the clinic on all days they are expected for medication dispensing, and agree to safely and responsibly store any take home doses that are provided. Patients begin with six visits a week, with a take home dose for Sundays. Over time, patients can progress to weekly, biweekly and monthly amounts of take home medications. Patients work with counselors on a treatment plan, and attend weekly counseling sessions for at least 90 days into treatment. This frequency can be reduced over time is counselors agree that the patients are ready to progress in this way. Patients also must be willing to undergo regular medical monitoring and random drug screens to ensure that treatment is consistently beneficial, and to determine if changes need to be made.
At Evergreen Treatment Services’ South Sound Clinic, our experienced, educated staff is committed to giving patients the highest quality care by partnering with community medical providers and providing education and advocacy that ensure that medical providers and the public understand how valuable Medication-Assisted Treatment is, not just to the opiate-addicted individual, but to the community at large.
For example, research has shown that Medication-Assisted Services result in a marked, local improvement in problems related to homelessness, expensive emergency services, and property crime. Furthermore, cost-benefit analyses of the fiscal benefits that Medication-Assisted Services provide to communities show a 4 to 5 dollar return for every 1 dollar spent on MAT.
The addiction care specialists and physicians on staff at South Sound Clinic pride themselves in providing customized, innovative treatment that addresses the range of factors that initiate and fuel substance abuse, from the biological, to the environmental, to the psychosocial. Through pharmacological and psychological therapeutic interventions delivered through patient-centered, adaptable recovery plans, our compassionate, motivated staff strives each day to improve recovery outcomes and facilitate long-term patient success.
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