Brookstone Medical Center offers new hope in treating opioid addiction

Photo by Kenishirotie, | Getty Images, St. George News

FEATURE — Chronic opioid addiction has been one of the most rigorously studied diseases in the world and the costs associated with the disease have been on the rise since 1991.

Studies show that gaining access to medication assisted treatment, or MAT, is highly successful, according to Dr. M. Parrino with the Global Addiction Association.

We have to stop treating addiction as a moral failing, and start seeing it for what it is: a chronic disease that must be treated with urgency and compassion,” former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said.

Brookstone Medical Center is an outpatient addiction treatment facility that utilizes the MAT model, which includes a three-part program that combines medications, counseling and a strong support system to combat the deadly disease of opioid addiction.

More than 20 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder with 2 million addicted to pain medications and more then half a million addicted to heroin.

In Utah, 24 people died every month on average from opioid overdoses in 2015. From 2013 to 2015 the Beehive state ranked the 7th highest in the nation for drug overdose deaths, according to the Utah Department of Public Health.

Opioid dependence is defined as a “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuity” by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Chronic diseases are incurable and can only managed with periods of remission and flare-ups, much like hypertension, diabetes or other chronic conditions.

Treatment from opioid dependence is more than detoxification followed by abstinence, which has shown little success in reducing illicit use. Leading research shows that using a medication assisted treatment program to address the condition is highly successful, Christine Brooks, a registered nurse and program director for Brookstone Medical Center, said.

Five decades of research has gone into studying the effectiveness of the model, which is appropriate for adults as well as pregnant women, Brooks said. The three-part program includes:


Brookstone Medical Center uses two medications, methadone and buprenorphine. These drugs are highly effective in reducing and eliminating withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with and caused by opioid dependency.

The medication is proctored by a nurse as patients come in each day, or administered and ingested with the nurse present.

Proctored medications do not produce a high, rather they allow the person to function at a stable state receiving medical attention and advice on a daily basis.


The MAT program is most effective when combined with behavioral therapies. Brookstone offers one-on-one counseling, peer support, group meetings, classes and other resources that provide life skills assistance. Counseling is an essential part of the MAT program and is included with the cost of treatment fees to ensure patients get the help they need to get back up on their feet and feel whole.


Brookstone Medical Center strongly encourages each patient have the support of family and friends. This support system enhances the patient’s success while in treatment and helps them to feel welcome and at home in the facility.

Long-term management of the disease includes lifestyle modifications and support systems which are critical for long-term success.

Monthly medical education meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are designed to help family, friends and the community in learning about the MAT program and how to get the most out of treatment.

Learn more

Brookstone Medical Center | 198 N. 100 East, St. George | 435-628-1111 | Email: [email protected]

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  • high5 May 10, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Idiots! Treat with methodone! Really? MORE PILLS!
    Cannabis !! Pencil Heads! Works! Natural!
    God Given! Hello? ANYBODY HOME????

  • comments May 10, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    kinda like treating a heroin addiction with crack cocaine. Just shift the addiction to another substance.

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