Medication Assisted Treatment at Community Health Centers Changing Lives in Southern California
TUSTIN, Calif., January 27, 2022 – The opioid epidemic has touched virtually every part of the country, and in Southern California, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center is fighting to slow down opioid and substance abuse with its highly successful Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.
With a unique approach for each patient, the MAT program at Families Together includes a case manager and a medical provider that manages each patient’s journey in partnership with the Families Together behavioral health department. In just a year and a half, the community health center has helped more than 400 people get a second chance at a first class life.
Johnny of Costa Mesa, California, who chose to only go by his first name, is one story that gives hope to anyone fighting with addiction.
At 32 years old, Johnny has been battling with substance abuse for more than half his life, but it was in November of 2020 that he finally decided to turn his life around once and for all. “I was done. I was in a bad place…I was spending nights in my car,” Johnny said. It was at this point in time that he made the decision to get clean. He checked into a detox program and was immediately connected to the MAT program at Families Together.
Johnny had attempted to get clean multiple times in his life, but it was the MAT program at Families Together that ultimately helped him reach that goal. A year of dedication and specialized treatment with one-on-one attention has led to a sense of stability and routine that Johnny never thought possible. For the first time in his life, Johnny is sober, excelling in his professional career and his personal life. He has mended personal relationships and even rekindled a love from his past who he married in late 2021. “If you could see where I was and where I am today,” Johnny says. “I’m really grateful for Families Together.”
The MAT program at Families Together partners with local detox programs, jails and shelters to help people find their way out of addiction, off of the streets and become productive members of society. As a community health center, Families Together can also connect MAT program patients to its myriad of essential health and wellness services such as medical programs, food pantry resources, and more right on site. Families Together also addresses the gaps in access to such programs, including MAT, by providing free transportation and applying patients for government aid that allow them to obtain treatment at little to no cost.
Dr. Neal Schwartz, Associate Medical Director and Medical Lead for the MAT program at Families Together of Orange County says:
“We’re working to help give people their life back. With a very specialized approach, we’re able to find solutions for people that in many cases never thought that they could find their way back to themselves. What we’re doing at Families Together is not only saving lives, it is also helping to better our community as a whole. It’s an approach that has been extremely effective for most patients and could even be used as a model for other community health centers in the region.”
Families Together of Orange County is one of the top 10 providers of Covid-19 vaccines in Orange County and offers medical, dental, vision, wellness, mental health and social services that help bridge the gap in access to healthcare throughout Southern California.
About Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center
Since 2003, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC) has proudly served the Orange County community with a myriad of health services while providing a welcoming, multi-lingual and patient – centered medical home to all. FTOC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, FQHC look-alike, a member of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the California Primary Care Association.
Please visit www.familiestogetheroc.org for more information on Families Together of Orange County and for the latest updates.
For interview requests and further information, please contact Cassie Rossel