UMMC Receives Federal Grant to Expand Addiction Treatment Services


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – The University of Mississippi Medical Center will award a new $6 million grant to addiction treatment services in the state.

Addiction treatment can be life changing, but not always within reach for some. Others don’t know where to turn for help. Dr. Jefferson Parker says this latest federal grant of $6 million will allow more Mississippians to access UMMC’s expertise.

“One of the common things that happens is that I get a phone call from a family member who is desperately trying to find treatment for a loved one,” described Dr. Parker, professor and division director of psychology. in the Department of Psychiatry and Medicine at UMMC. Human Behaviour, who also co-directs the Center for Innovation and Discovery in Addiction (CIDA). “One of the things this grant is going to provide is a real-time, statewide resource where someone, a treatment provider or a family member can go online and see which treatment facilities have a bed right now, which ones do which ones don’t.”

The additional funding also explains the lack of health care coverage in the state.

“This grant will provide treatment grants that can send people into residential treatment if they need it,” Parker added. “We have money to support drugs for drug treatment if they are unable to afford it, and it is clinically appropriate for them. And also even money to help with transportation from their home, say to the treatment center or from the home to the pharmacy to pick up that medication, really comprehensive services that will be available statewide.

And telehealth means people can have appointments, even with just a smartphone. UMMC strives to help people suffering from both drug addiction and alcoholism.

“Prescription opioids are probably the main opioids you still see,” explained Dr. James Rowlett, professor of psychiatry at UMMC and CIDA co-director of UMMC. “It’s a little small. Fentanyl just skyrocketed. Really. Since the pandemic, it was increasing before that, but the pandemic seemed to accelerate that. »

It comes just as the CDC relaxes its opioid prescribing guidelines for the first time since 2016. Some experts say the previous guidelines helped curb the rise in opioid prescriptions nationwide. But others argue it has led to unintended consequences for pain patients.

For more details on how UMMC will use this latest grant, click HERE.

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