Comprehensive Treatment Programs Help Battle the Opioid Epidemic

As the nation faces an opioid crisis, Memorial Healthcare System is doing its part at the community level, addressing the core of the issue – addiction – with initiatives that tackle it on multiple levels.

Memorial’s opioid response initiative – headed by Tammy Tucker, PsyD, Associate Administrator, Memorial Regional Hospital – develops programs that work to either break the cycle of addiction or prevent the cycle from starting in the first place.

Memorial’s addiction programs stand out from other providers’ in South Florida in two additional ways: First, Memorial provides immediate drug intervention in the emergency-room setting as soon as overdose victims present for treatment. Second, we offer the services of peer specialists, who – having experienced addiction themselves – can help patients navigate both the healthcare system and their transition to recovery.

Memorial Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program

When patients come through the ER as overdose cases, the MAT program helps them recover from addiction by making immediate interventions to address their substance cravings and behavioral issues. Patients are treated first, and then screened and offered MAT with continued initial stabilization until they can follow up in an outpatient setting. To date, Memorial has served 189 patients in MAT.

Mothers in Recovery

This program focuses on treating addiction in pregnancy, with the goal of helping mothers deliver healthy, drug-free babies. It offers comprehensive substance abuse treatment, plus obstetrical care, case management and supportive housing to help break the addiction cycle. Since its inception three years ago, the program has helped 109 women with 87 live births. Ninety-two percent of the babies were born drug-free.

The SHARE Program

SHARE offers medical detoxification services to patients who are able to receive treatment on an outpatient basis. The program, which addresses physiological and psychological dependency issues, includes a comprehensive medical assessment and plan for detox from opioids and other addictive substances like alcohol and sedatives.

Long-Action Therapy Clinic (LAT)

The LAT Clinic provides long-acting, injectable Naltrexone for patients battling addiction with opioids and/or alcohol and who are at risk for relapse. These monthly injections help control patients’ drug cravings so they can focus on their recovery.

Memorial Offers Inpatient Substance Abuse Recovery Services

Memorial Medical Detoxification Program at Memorial Hospital Pembroke offers patients compassionate inpatient services to help them break the cycle of substance abuse and addiction.

How Most People in Florida Receive Addiction Treatment:

Memorial Medical Detoxification is One of the Few Hospital-based Addiction Programs Available in Broward.

How Does Medical Detoxification Work?

When people are addicted to alcohol or drugs and suddenly stop using, they may experience severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. In a medical detoxification program, patients can voluntarily admit themselves to a hospital for medically supervised withdrawal management that is:

  • Around-the-clock
  • Delivered by licensed medical professionals
  • Provided for up to 5 days

Steps in the program include:

  • Phone pre-screening – To schedule an intake appointment
  • Intake and admission – To complete a medical history, lab work-up and assessment
  • Medical detoxification – For three to five days, in a private room, supervised by a team of trained substance-abuse professionals
  • Follow-up care – The patient leaves with a personalized plan, including referrals to support groups and strategies to prevent relapse
“Medical detoxification is one of the most important services we can provide patients and families who are facing the challenges of substance addiction. With its solid reputation as a trusted community resource, Memorial is proud to offer a uniquely hospital-based medical detoxification program, with customized care to manage and stabilize patients’ withdrawal symptoms – followed by the effective and ongoing support that they need to move into the next phase of recovery.”
Mark Doyle

Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Hospital Pembroke


Physician Wellness

A Proactive, Holistic Focus on Overall Health

How well doctors feel can have an impact on the quality of care they provide. That’s why Memorial’s Division of Integrative Medicine has been involved with developing a Physician Wellness program – not just to help prevent burnout but to ensure a proactive, holistic focus on doctors’ overall health and well-being.

The unique program encompasses the full range of medical, emotional, environmental and social factors that affect a person’s health. Physicians choose whether the spotlight is on peak performance, pain and symptom management, or care for an already diagnosed condition, after which they work with Integrative Medicine to map out preventive strategies for optimal health.

The program also provides physicians with opportunities to connect with one another and increase their awareness of the integrative modalities that are available, including nutrition consultations, exercise recommendations, acupuncture, massage, yoga and mindfulness practices.

“Studies show that physician burnout and professional disengagement is a predictor of poor quality care, and health systems nationwide are scrambling to crack that nut,” said Ashwin Mehta, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Integrative Medicine and Medical Director, Physician Wellness. “At Memorial, we’ve taking a proactive role promoting physicians’ health, both physical and mental.”

One of the main tools is a web-based portal that physicians can log into to access resources that will help them pursue wellness. “We’re pleased with the launch of the portal, and we want to make sure that it helps establish physician well-being as central to the culture of our health system,” Dr. Mehta said.

With the support of a Well Foundation grant, residents in Graduate Medical Education will also be able to take advantage of the Physician Wellness program, to ensure they adopt healthful habits early in their careers – before burnout and disengagement become formidable problems.

“Physician Wellness is an essential aspect of Integrative Medicine’s mission to empower individuals to take ownership of their health. Programs like this underscore Memorial’s reputation as an innovator within the field of population health through enhanced patient and physician engagement to improve the health of our community.”
Ashwin Mehta, MD

Medical Director, Integrative Medicine and Medical Director, Physician Wellness