New Addiction Treatment - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

New Addiction Treatment

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CODY – Eleven years after KULR 8 reported exclusively on the deadly effects of prescription drug addiction in Montana and Northwest Wyoming, it is still killing people in the region. A new kind of treatment is being offered to people who are fighting addiction, and it uses another opioid medication.

In 2007, KULR 8 reported about prescription drug overdose deaths in Montana and Northwest Wyoming Eleven years later, prescription drug addiction still plagues the area.

A study by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming says Park County has the third highest number of opioid prescriptions in the state.

Cody resident Robert Bedneoz said since then, “19 deaths I think have been here in the Big Horn Basin.”

Bedneoz said he’s been fighting opioid addiction since he had an accident in 1995. He said he was an airline executive, but he had to leave his job.

He explained, ”I got to the point I could function, but barely.”

Cody Regional Health Behavioral Health Director  Heidi Hess said, “ 80% of the families in this country have been touched by addiction.”

Hess said  a new treatment gives people like Bedneoz an opioid based medication a release.

She explained, “People who are in pain, chronic pain, legitimate pain, legitimate medical conditions, require medication to function in the world…The difference is we can give them medication that doesn’t make them high, and doesn’t make them addicted to want more and more.”

Bedneoz said other programs have failed him many times, and his efforts to quit on his own, more than a hundred times.

He said now, “Being able to go through daily life without cravings is a Godsend.”

Park County Prosecutor Bryan Skoric thinks treatment is important, but not a panacea.  Skoric said the problem starts with physicians….

Skoric said, “Your local pharmacies can’t write prescriptions for the drugs. Only physicians, or those authorized to hand out the scrips are responsible for that.”

Skoric said Wyoming has a database for doctors to check to see if a patient is getting pain killers elsewhere.

He reasoned, “And so a physician that’s not checking that profile to see if this patient is getting a substance from any other doctor, I think it’s a bad thing.”

Skoric said it will take a three pronged approach to solve the opioid problem.

He said,  “Physicians, law enforcement, and treatment. One alone isn’t going to do it.”

Cody Regional Health is offering an introduction to its treatment program April 24. It includes dinner and costs $5.

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