OUD treatment newbies: What to expect at your first visit to an “addiction clinic”…

There are a number of ways a company may go about offering services to patients that require opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. Most commonly, the visit goes something like this….

You enter a facility that is only for patients dealing with addiction, so everyone in the room knows exactly why you are there (including all patients waiting in the lobby, etc.). It has the feel of an overcrowded pain clinic. (If you’ve ever been to a typical pain clinic, you know what I mean.) You go to the check in window, and presumably present your TennCare or Amerigroup or similar government insurance card.  The visit will likely cost you nothing because you are indigent. You likely won’t see anyone there that has commercial insurance issued by an employer because most of the people in that lobby are unemployed. If you do not have insurance, you will pay cash for the visit. You will be called to provide urine for a drug screen, or potentially for a pill count. At some point, you along with 9-15 other people enter a group therapy session that lasts about an hour.  After this session, you wait again alongside addicts to be seen by the one doctor on site. When it’s your turn, your name will be called and you will be escorted to the doctor’s office. You will be asked a few standard questions and get a prescription from the doctor, who will spend about 10 minutes with you (or less). No other conditions will be treated. You will be required to establish with as many other specialists as necessary to treat any other conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, migraines, etc. The only prescription you will be given will be for a buprenorphine product such as suboxone and then leave the facility up to 2 hours after your arrival. Oh, and you may be required to return for weekly visits, depending on what your risk of relapse appears to be. 

For those people who are truly indigent, on medicaid or similar, this model can be life saving. But we recognize that one model does not fit all, and you may not be indigent or wish to be in an environment where you are repeatedly exposed to addicts. Being around other people that could still be using drugs illicitly could be a trigger for you. You may be concerned another patient would approach you directly while in the lobby. Alternatively, you may be concerned that someone you know will see you there. It could be that you do not want other people knowing your medical issues. Or maybe you simply wish to see a doctor that will spend time with you…one that is willing to treat you holistically. Whatever the reason, you know it’s not a fit for you and you have the resources to receive treatment in a manner that is a fit.  A perfect fit for someone who wants a doctor that will treat holistically, in an environment that maintains your medical anonymity. An environment that will leave you feeling good, not embarrassed to have been there. 

This is the Karta Difference. Our specialists integrate our patients into their private practice offices. With our model, no one knows why you are in the lobby because you are not in the lobby of an addiction clinic. The doctor will not only treat your opiate use disorder, but any related conditions that he or she feels comfortable managing. For example, Dr. Campbell is a neurologist, so she routinely treats migraines, anxiety, ADHD, depression, seizures, etc. alongside opiate use disorder for our Karta patients. Juggling a schedule of several doctors can be very time consuming for anyone, especially people that are employed. 

When it comes to any medical practice, one size does not fit all. If you prefer an environment that maintains your privacy, eliminates triggers and provides doctors that treat holistically, Karta Health is for you.   

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