The suboxone program of First Choice Community Healthcare (FCCH) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has seen great success over the past few years. Minda Jaramillo, Director of Behavioral Health at FCCH, discusses the program and how it uniquely treats opioid addicts.
In 2014, FCCH served 700 patients within its suboxone program. Unfortunately, Minda says the number of people who need this program is growing. However, looking on the bright side, she notes the positives of the program. “The fortunate thing is that people know about [the suboxone program], they’re coming in and they’re willing to go through the program to get clean and to get healthy,” says Minda.
Minda discusses how the program works. She says FCCH has slots available for patients to hear about the program when they visit. Those interested have to see a counselor first for an intake assessment. She notes how sometimes people come in thinking they are ready for treatment, when that’s not the case. “When some people think of lifestyle change and withdraw [from opioids], they back out…People will do anything not to go through the agony of opioid withdraw,” says Minda.
FCCH uses the stages of change model to treat people in their current stage of addiction. Minda says FCCH doesn’t send anyone away, even if they aren’t quite ready for the suboxone program. She notes how FCCH uses support groups to help the undecided decide when they want to start the program. “If you’re still using, we want to work with you until you’re ready,” says Minda.