COVID-19, low funding hit drug treatment in Kansas. Is help coming?


Amid fears the COVID-19 pandemic will worsen the opioid crisis in Kansas, substance abuse providers hope for a sustainable way to use money from a series of legal settlements against drug makers.

Preventing the opioid disaster has turn out to be a degree of bipartisan settlement for Kansas lawmakers on the state and federal ranges.

However when push involves shove, Stacy Chamberlain, program director for Behavioral Well being Group’s clinic in Overland Park, mentioned these on the frontlines of the battle to combat habit usually do not get a seat on the desk.

That’s very true in terms of getting the required funding to assist Kansans.

“We’re all on the market scrapping for funds,” Chamberlain mentioned. “However I do assume that at occasions we’re not given the chance to even apply for these or to say, ‘Hey, that is what we do.'”

Clinics like hers have been put to the take a look at through the COVID-19 pandemic — whilst these funding and staffing challenges stay all too current.

BHG’s two services within the higher Kansas Metropolis, Kansas, space serve 360 sufferers. However there was an increase in 60 inpatient admissions since Jan. 1, an indicator of how swamped the services have turn out to be.

“My workers is fairly overworked. However all of us strongly imagine that we should always take individuals in — we do not like to show anyone away,” she mentioned. “My workers at occasions will get pissed off with me, as a result of I inform (sufferers) to come back on in. As a result of I imagine if any individual presents, and so they’re strolling in that door, then they’ve taken that first step.”

The cavalry may very well be on its manner.

The state of Kansas, in addition to dozens of native governments, have filed swimsuit towards opioid producers, distributors and different entities in a push to maintain corporations accountable for the toll habit has taken on their communities.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt presents before the House Judiciary Committee on legislation to allocate money from opioid-related lawsuits.

Legal professional Basic Derek Schmidt introduced earlier this 12 months the state would receive $4.8 million as part of a national settlement with consulting giant McKinsey, which allegedly helped companies promote extra painkillers.

That cash is required to be earmarked for substance abuse therapy, as are any future settlements.

Suppliers hope the windfall may very well be a balm for any variety of shortcomings in Kansas’ substance abuse therapy community — whether it is used correctly.


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