Years ago, when someone struggling with opioid dependency would show up in a Colorado emergency room after an overdose or as they were suffering through withdrawal, doctors and nurses would patch them up and send them on their way.
“They came in and we made them feel a little bit better,” said Dr. Jason Hoppe, an associate professor in the emergency medicine department at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “There wasn’t much we could do.”
What those patients wouldn’t receive is treatment for the underlying condition that brought them to the emergency room: their addiction.
But now, an increasing number of flagship hospitals in the Denver metro area — including ones belonging to the major providers Denver Health, SCL Health, Centura Health and UCHealth — are offering medication-assisted addiction treatment to opioid-dependent patients almost as soon as they walk in the door.
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