The Morehead News

Local News

April 6, 2012

Addiction treatment clinic expanding

April 6, 2012 —     A Morehead clinic that treats persons addicted to opiates is expanding.

    SelfRefind, currently located at 224 E. Main Street, offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that helps addicts transition from addiction to recovery, according to the company’s website.

    “We consider ourselves another tool in the toolbox for overcoming addiction,” said Keith Tiemeyer, SelfRefind’s corporate development officer.

    The clinic prescribes buprenorphine, commonly known by the pharmaceutical brand name Suboxone, to the more than 250 customers enrolled in the SelfRefind MAT program.

    Clients take Suboxone as one component of a recovery program that includes counseling, drug screens, pill counts and a psychological evaluation, Tiemeyer said.

    The new $500,000, 3,600 square foot-facility is under construction on Heck’s Plaza Drive near the Hampton Inn. When finished, the larger facility will have counseling and waiting rooms, a laboratory, and a children’s play area.

    “It’s going to have a room for kids,” Tiemeyer said. “We are not afraid of our clients' kids and we want them to be accommodated.”

    He said when clients come for an initial appointment, which can take up to three hours, or their hourly monthly recovery assessment day (RAD), they often have no child care and must bring children along with them. 

    Tiemeyer said that because addiction is a family disease, then a recovery program also should also include consideration of the family.

    “We try to service the whole family. We want them to be comfortable coming because the whole family is affected,” Tiemeyer added.

    He recalled talking with the young son of a SelfRefind client who was eager to go fishing with his father for the first time.

    “He could go fishing with his dad, because his dad is getting help,” Tiemeyer said.

    Suboxone is an opiate blocker that interrupts signals in an addict’s brain. It works by fooling the brain into thinking that its “call” for opiates has been answered. When ingested, it goes to the receptors in the brain that are expecting opiates.

    Tiemeyer explained it this way:

    “Oxycontin is made to fit into that receptor, but Suboxone sits on top of it and blocks it.

    “It’s like a key for a lock,” he continued. “Opiates will turn the lock and open the door, but with Suboxone you can only turn the key, you can’t open the door.”

    Critics of MAT, and some addicts who’ve tried it, maintain that Suboxone still can produce a “high.” Tiemeyer conceded that a non-user may likely feel euphoric effects of the drug but an addict’s reaction is different.

    “If you’re an addict that’s five to 10 years into addiction, the thing you want most is not to get high, but not to get sick.

    “So what they may interpret as getting high is really not just getting sick,” he said.

    Tiemeyer said the time a person remains in the program varies but the average enrollment is about two years.

    “It’s roughly a two-year process because it takes a while for the brain to heal,” he added.

    Tiemeyer said he expects the new facility to open in June.

    Noelle Hunter can be reached at nhunter@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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