Greg interviews Dr. Ann DiFrangia, a board certified physician, specializing in the treatment of substance use disorder with Akron General Hospital. Since 2011, Dr. DiFrangia has seen a rise in neo-natal mortality rates, an increase in disabilities due to infection, and sky-rocketing death rates because of the opioid epidemic sweeping Ohio.

Greg asks Dr. DiFrangia about what Akron General Hospital does to connect overdose victims to treatment after they’ve overdosed. Dr. DiFrangia explains that the biggest hurdle is getting overdose victims to agree to go into treatment in the first place, but after that they are easily able to connect them to the programs they need. “First assuming that the person who’s overdosed wants treatment – and that’s always a big challenge – we give them the information. And if they are willing, we make a direct referral. We have a good relationship with the ADM Crisis Center, so they can be referred there should they want to go to residential. We also have a great computer system now, so that we share records. And we also have a way to schedule now that’s much easier. So that if someone wants to come to the ADRC (Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center) – our chemical dependency treatment facility – they can get a referral directly from the ER. And we have social workers that are in the emergency room, who have direct access to us. Let’s say somebody is really interested. They could get an appointment right from the ER… [And] with the new emergency department being built, we are hoping to see some beds in the emergency room reserved for those people that come in with an overdose. So that they can be seen on an urgent basis [or] should they wish to be in treatment.”

Listen to the podcast to discover what Dr. DiFrangia has discovered to be the most successful treatments for those suffering from substance use disorder.