CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — For those struggling with substance abuse, help could be on the way.
Carle is now offering addiction treatment services through its mobile health clinic.
The mobile clinic has been traveling to neighborhoods in Champaign-Urbana to provide non-urgent medical care since 2018, but there is another need in the community. For three days each month, the mobile unit will be staffed with an Addiction Medicine Doctor and a trained Addiction Counselor, who will provide one-on-one counseling, addiction treatment medicine, and life-saving overdose reversal medication.
Carle doctor James Besante said they saw a 35% increase in overdoses during the first six months of the pandemic. This could be due to isolation and the closure of most in-person services. “Part of recovery for many of my patients is finding community. A lot of that community was struggling during the early months of the pandemic.” He describes this as an “overdose epidemic,” and he said that addiction “touches everyone in every community, whether you know it or not.”
The mobile unit will travel to areas Dr. Besante called, “treatment deserts,” or places that have little to no resources. He said, “”What we’re trying to do is bring these resources and this addiction treatment expertise to rural, underserved communities.”
Carle plans to expand their reach from Champaign County to Vermilion County.