Problems facing the fight against Opioid Epidemic

Problems facing the fight against Opioid Epidemic

Amongst many other problems facing the US government in the fight against the opioid epidemic, a recent issue that cannot be ignored is the pay of medical experts, medical health bodies, and workers of non-profit organizations. Medical technicians, counselors, and other public health experts are complaining about the poor living wages.


Problems facing the fight against Opioid Epidemic


Monetary problems

In a recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel brought to light that workers at Janus of Santa Cruz, a nonprofit addiction treatment center are facing a crisis due to lack of money in human resources infrastructure. Janus has a contract with the Santa Cruz County to provide detox treatment services to over 2500 clients a year with a budget of $6.4 million.

Some workers have reported having been earning less than $16 an hour while others are barely making ends meet. Employees are forced to quit the job even when they love their job because you have to rely on your pay to cover only household expenses. Economically it does not work out. Qualified medical experts have other jobs in an offer that pay double and includes health benefits as well.

Last year Janus Workers unionized aiming at better pay and job security with the National Union of Healthcare Workers and were in talks with the Santa Cruz County supervisors to raise the living wage. According to the union, they need a minimum of $16 an hour, the county’s living wage and a raise for the ones who are in the $16 an hour wage.

The poor turnover of Janus workers is hampering opioid addiction treatment. When unemployment reports are lower than last year in Santa Cruz County, there are enough jobs for unemployed workers. Detox treatment centers are finding it hard to fight the opioid treatment with increasing budget to function, increase in pay of workers, increase in health care cost and few options of help.


Expansion problems

Opioid addiction and other drug detox treatments work best when patients are kept in residence. Detox centers can take a fixed number of patients at a time based on the number of detox beds. To treat more patients, the number of detox beds need to be increased.

Increase in bed space means, the facility needs to hire more people as well to meet the demand.

A central commercial kitchen helps to feed all the people working in the facility including the patients and medical experts. The cost to build a commercial kitchen costs around over $100,000 depending on its capacity.

Passengers vans are required to take clients back and forth to the court and doctors appointments. Every detox center needs passenger vans depending on its capacity of residential patients.

Non-profit organizations like Janus also provide community service like running the Sheriff’s Recovery Centre, to help the police with drunk in public and driving under the influence of alcohol cases.


Other problems

Even though most facilities see the infrastructural demands been met, very less attention is paid to the human resource infrastructure which plays an essential role to fight the opioid epidemic. Health and substance abuse disorders are one of the significant critical unmet needs in the US. A majority of the budget spent goes into behavioral health. Even though services are dealing with mental health and substance use disorder, it is tough to engage the citizens and have their consent to the services.

Grant Pain Management Clinic is a home focused detox program run by Dr. Grant; who is a board-certified addiction medicine specialist. In-home detox program dives straight into working on the addiction, allowing the patient to be in comfortable and compassionate setting and an opportunity to work with the family. For further information call now 923-468-1337.

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