Today the Tomah Journal recognized Addiction Medical Solutions of Wisconsin for their efforts in the Onalaska area, helping prevent the area’s growing heroin problem. AMS specializes in the treatment of opiate addictions, and is reaching out to neighboring communities in attempt to help patients win their battle with opiate addiction.
By Jourdan Vian, Reporter Feb 11, 2013
ddiction Medical Solutions of Wisconsin is reaching out to Tomah residents in an effort to help curb the area’s growing heroin problem.
The group opened a clinic specializing in the treatment of opiate addictions, like heroin addiction, in Onalaska in September. Clinical supervisor Christopher Erdman began to reach out to neighboring communities soon after.
“I’m trying to reach out to a many communities as I can,” Erdman said.
“I want to let people know we are here, it is affordable and it has a high rate of success,” Erdman added.
According to Erdman, AMS is successful in helping its patients win their battle with opiate addiction 80 to 83 percent of the time. Sixty-three percent of patients never touch another illegal drug.
Tomah police acknowledge that heroin use is spreading in Monroe County.
“Much of our significant property crime is also tied to drugs in some manner, whether it be burglaries, breaking into cars or thefts,” said Tomah police chief Wes Revels.
“They are stealing these items to be able to support the drug habit,” Revels added.
The police department recently added a second investigator to address the issue.
“Most of (our investigator’s) time was taken up with drug investigations,” Revels said.
AMS advocates a medication-assisted treatment program to help opiate addicts kick their addiction.
“Its purpose is to bring people who are abusing opiates—whether it is heroin or oxycontin or whatnot—off the street and get them stabilized on the methadone,” Erdman said.
Methadone is a prescription narcotic that is used in the treatment of opiate addiction.
“A major reason I’m here is to dispel some of the myths (about methadone clinics),” Erdman said.
In the 70s, methadone clinics were known for dispensing the narcotic only, without any oversight or monitoring of its patients.
“We’re so much more than that,” Erdman said.
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