Additional Barriers to Accessing MAT Services
In my last blog post I discussed the significance that transportation barriers can play in access to care. There are many other barriers individuals face while seeking treatment for their substance use, these include, treatment capacity (long waitlists) and a lack of willing and trained providers with available time is a challenge. Additionally, the stigma associated with MAT treatment cannot be underestimated, fear of losing employment or incarceration, cost of treatment, shame & stigma associated with SUD treatment, [especially stigma associated with MAT treatment], lack of treatment resource knowledge, and the fear of losing their children (DCF involvement).
The Need for Mobile MAT Services
The Mobile MAT van will be going to six CT communities, including Willimantic, Danielson, Putnam, Jewett City, Norwich & Taftville. Estimates show that 53% of counties in the U.S. lack access to a MAT provider (Barriers to MAT, n.d.).” Before the Mobile MAT program servicing these rural CT communities, they would have most likely been included in the 53%. The need for these services is dire. An example of how desperately OUD services are needed. I went to Jewett City last week (before the official launch of the MAT van) to pass out flyers, introduce myself and get a lay of the land. In less than an hour and a half I had had made connections with three individuals, connected another individual to Suboxone services, distributed 6 Narcan kits, 8 fentanyl testing strips, 3 safe use kits, 40 sterile syringes, 60+ condoms, and 3 wound care kits.
Mobile MAT Van Services & Supports
The Mobile MAT van provides a safe, non-judgmental & supportive environment for [all] individuals. Whether a person is ready to engage in Suboxone treatment for their OUD, or the individuals that may not be ready to stop their use, we have services & supports to help. The MAT van offers an array of harm reduction, prevention, and recovery support services, including community-based Suboxone induction, safe use supplies (syringes, safe use kits, Narcan), linkage to mental health & primary care services, referrals to treatment [detox, IOP, Methadone, etc.], access to peer support services, and connection to other community resources.
I recall a time, not too long ago when individuals seeking MAT services (specifically Suboxone) would often be told to either callback in a few days or be given a first-time appointment 2 weeks out. I often wonder how many lives we lost to overdose due to those unacceptable long wait periods.
MAT Saves Lives
Using a harm-reduction, person-centered approach, meeting individuals where they are [quite literally] to provide these critically important services, will most certainly save lives.
If you or someone you know may benefit from any of the services offered on the Mobile MAT Van, please contact Jess @ 860-336-9412. We can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, our website, or by calling any of our three offices.