Iowa launches new website to help residents battle opioid use disorder

(The Center Square) – Iowa has a new website that’s dedicated to helping Iowans recover from opioid use disorder.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced the website Monday. IowaOpioidHelp.com directs Iowans to treatment centers and other resources across the state.

Over 18 years, Iowa should receive $177.74 million from settlements with Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen. That amount will be split evenly between the state and counties and cities, according to the news release. In 2021, the Iowa Attorney General’s office agreed with University of Iowa Health Care to develop a statewide opioid treatment program with $3.8 million in settlement funds.

IowaOpioidHelp.com visitors will learn about the Medications for Addiction Treatment, or MAT, methods of using Federal Drug Administration-approved drugs to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms of opioid use disorder.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Opioid Addiction Clinic Dr. Alison Lynch answers commonly asked questions on the website to inform people who want to know more about opioid use disorder and MAT.

An interactive map at IowaOpioidHelp.com shows a list of MAT and OUD clinics contracted with the state. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services funds the Integrated Provider Network, or IPN.

“Most people do not realize that addiction to opioids is treatable and that Iowans suffering from Opioid Use Disorder can successfully regain control of their lives,” Miller said. “There is help and hope available right now.”

In 2021, 258 Iowans died from opioid overdoses. That was a 21.2% increase over 2020’s count. First responders use naloxone to counteract overdoses, keeping the death toll from worsening.

“Iowa has a huge unmet demand for treatment for people suffering from Opioid Use Disorder,” Miller said. “For Iowans struggling with this disease, let me be clear: Treatment works, and there’s no better time than now to get help.”

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