Construction to begin on skilled nursing facility at State Hospital South

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is extremely pleased to announce that construction will begin Wednesday, May 8, on the new Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility at State Hospital South, 700 East Alice, Blackfoot.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen and State Hospital South Administrator Jim Price will be in attendance, along with Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll, and Idaho Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds. Light refreshments will be served afterward.

“The nursing home serves as a safety net for the residents, many of whom can’t be treated in other nursing homes around the state and cannot return to their communities,” said Jim Price, administrator for State Hospital South, which operates the skilled nursing facility. “The new facility will be safer and have more capacity as it also preserves a feeling of home for our residents, who are mentally ill and gravely disabled and require skilled nursing care.” Continue reading

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Gov. Little signs bill expanding access to lifesaving drug for opioid overdose victims

Boise – Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 12 into law today during a bill signing ceremony to highlight the benefits of a medication called naloxone in saving the lives of people experiencing opioid overdose. He also reminded Idahoans of his forthcoming executive order to address opioid addiction in Idaho.

“My administration is fully committed to fighting the scourge of opioid abuse head on,” Gov. Little said. “We look forward to coordinating with all public and private entities to reverse this epidemic.”

There were 116 known opioid overdose deaths in Idaho in 2017, up from 44 just more than a decade ago – a 163 percent increase.

If an individual has an opioid overdose, a quick administration of naloxone can reverse the overdose and bring the patient back to life. A study found when access to naloxone is enhanced there is a 9 to 11 percent decrease in opioid-related deaths. Continue reading

Free DATA 2000 Waiver training available in two classes in January and February

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. In Idaho, the two primary medications used in medication-assisted treatment are methadone and buprenorphine [suboxone].

To prescribe buprenorphine/suboxone, qualified physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners must complete a training and apply for a DATA 2000 Waiver, also called an X-license, to treat Opioid Use Disorder with approved products in any setting in which they are qualified to practice. This required training is currently being offered for free in Idaho. Continue reading

DHW releases Idaho Opioid Needs Assessment 2018

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Drug-induced deaths have increased in Idaho since 2010, but an updated report shows that the state remains slightly lower than the national average for this number. In 2016, the most recent year for which confirmed data is available, Idaho ranked 36th in the age-adjusted rate of drug-induced deaths by state, according to the Idaho Opioid Needs Assessment, which was released today by the Division of Behavioral Health.

A couple other highlights from the report include:

  • Since reaching a peak in 2010-2012, several indicators appear to show a modest decrease in non-heroin opiate/synthetic use in Idaho over recent years.
  • However, in 2016 Idaho was above the national average for the rate of opioids dispensed per 100,000 population and many indicators suggest that Idaho has experienced a significant increase in heroin use over the past decade.

Continue reading

September is National Recovery Month: Can you help reduce the stigma of substance-use disorder?

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September is National Recovery Month, and it’s a good time to talk about substance use disorders (commonly referred to as “drug or alcohol addiction”) and mental health so we can help fight the stigma associated with these diseases. The more comfortable people are about talking about these conditions, the more likely they will seek treatment. Continue reading

Recognizing Idahoans who have championed mental health recovery and an end to stigma (Video link)

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IDHW Director Russ Barron welcomes the audience at the May 4, 2018, Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event, prior to reading a proclamation from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

During the month of May, IDHW’s Division of Behavioral Health joins with Regional Behavioral Health Boards across Idaho to recognize people who have worked to overcome mental illness, support others on the road to recovery, and end the stigma that prevents many more from seeking treatment.

On May 4, the division hosted the annual kick-off for national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event. The event featured IDHW Director Russ Barron reading the proclamation of May as Mental Health Awareness Month from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Division of Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds awarding the 2018 Voice of Idaho Award to Clark Richman of Kootenai County. Continue reading

May is Mental Health Awareness Month – Let’s work toward a Stigma-free Idaho

042518MentalHealthAwarenessMillions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, which is challenging enough. Add to that the stigma associated with mental illness, and it can cause people to avoid help and treatment. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Division of Behavioral Health will be hosting a program this Friday at the Idaho State Capitol featuring several Idahoans sharing their stories of recovery, so it’s a great time to talk about it and help put an end to the stigma about mental health issues.  Continue reading