Letter: Outpatient care provides results for addicts

Re: The Detroit News’ Sept. 24 editorial, “Tackling heroin abuse”: As noted in this editorial, the addiction challenge in Wayne and neighboring continues is on an upward trajectory.

As Pinnacle’s medical director, I confront these statistics and the individuals whom they represent daily. As a society, we often are captured by large numbers and statistics. For parents, friends, spouses and caregivers — those who suffer from addiction are people we know and love.

The most common face we see is likely to be a person in their early 20s. They have stolen everything not nailed down from family, lost every job, hopelessly driven by the terrible impact of heroin/opioid withdrawal to go places and do things he/she never imagined possible.

Pinnacle Treatment Centers offer a proven treatment option to these people known as outpatient treatment.

This offers a path to improved health.

Outpatient treatment includes medication assisted treatment with methadone and individual and group therapy.

■ Methadone has been safely and effectively used for helping heroin and pain pill addiction for over 45 years. It has the highest success rate for addiction treatment.

■ Treatment can occur without missing time at work or being away from home at night.

■ Supervised treatment with methadone eliminates heroin or pain pill use for most people who come to us and who follow treatment recommendations.

■ Methadone prevents opiate withdrawal when taken as prescribed.

■ When in treatment, dosages begin low and increase to a level that controls urges and cravings. People feel normal. The proper dose will not produce a high when taken daily.

■ With the oversight of the team of nurses, physicians and counselors, Methadone is safe and well tolerated.

■ Methadone is most successful in combination with both individual and group therapy. Regular meetings with our counselors are a mandatory part of treatment.

Pinnacle Treatment Center is a multistate provider of addiction treatment services. We opened the first of our Michigan outpatient locations on Oct. 8 in Washtenaw County. A second location, in Sterling Heights, will open in the weeks ahead with a third planned in St. Clair Shores.

The company has addiction treatment centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky and Virginia with plans to open in Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio. We provide residential (inpatient), outpatient and sober living housing. We prescribe other medications like Suboxone and Naltrexone at many of these sites and anticipate offering them at our Michigan sites in the future.

Christopher Johnston, M.D.

Medical director, Pinnacle Treatment Center