University of Iowa Health Care is teaming up with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to develop a statewide opioid treatment program using $3.8 million in settlement funds.
The program will use several methods, with a primary focus on Medication-Assisted Treatment, which gives smaller amounts of opioids to satisfy addiction cravings, while minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
At a Wednesday press meeting, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller addressed the stigma surrounding the treatment program because it still provides opioids to those suffering addiction, although in a smaller amount.
“The stigma shouldn’t be there,” he said. “It’s one of the really viable treatment efforts.”
The money comes from a $4.7 million settlement with McKinsey & Co., who consulted with OxyContin and Purdue Pharma to sell large amounts of opioids.
While the money is going to UI Health Care, Alison Lynch, director of the opioid addiction clinic at UI Hospitals and Clinics, said the reach will be statewide.
“We’re going to be working with physicians around the state, as well as other practitioners to both provide general training around addiction and opioid use disorder in particular,” Lynch said.
UI Health Care will also help practitioners obtain the waiver necessary to help those with opioid use disorder.