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St. Louis opioid treatment program to expand statewide

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A St. Louis-area pilot program that’s treated more than 2,000 opioid overdose victims is expanding statewide.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Missouri health officials are looking to implement Engaging Patients in Care Coordination, or EPICC, across the state within a year. The program will be available in Boone County after Sept. 1.

The program treats overdose victims at emergency rooms with buprenorphine, a medication that minimizes opioids without the resulting high. It also ffers a peer counselor to help individuals recover from addiction.

Missouri Hospital Association official Leslie Porth says 70 percent of patients under the pilot program were in treatment six months after visiting the hospital.

Porth says less than 10 percent of patients had sought treatment six months after the previous protocol, which sent patients home after treating them with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone.
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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com