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Wednesday - June 20, 2018 2:14 am

Task force trying to change trend of addicts seeking help Featured

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A discouraging study for those in the medical field regarding heroin addicts getting treatment.

The Annals of Internal Medicine followed over 17,000 people who overdosed between 2012 and 2014. Just three in 10 sought more treatment after being released from the hospital.

Chris Eberlein, an ER doctor at Gundersen Health System, who is also with the La Crosse County Heroin Task Force, says they're trying to buck that trend.

"Having counselors in the ERs after an overdose, if they're willing to meet with someone, we can get them set up with the substance abuse expert to show them the treatment options," he said.

Eberlein says the sad reality is they can only help people who are ready to go to treatment.

"People are allowed to make that choice," he said. "You can't force someone into treatment. You really have to wait until that person is ready to pursue treatment."

Eberlein says drugs like methadone, which replaces heroin with a monitored opioid effect help, but some go on to abuse both substances together.

Drew Kelly

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