The opioid crisis is affecting all levels of society and has had a devastating impact on many communities across our country. Individuals struggling with opioid use disorder typically have a more difficult time staying engaged in treatment and will sometimes leave early in the process. For these vulnerable individuals, relapse can potentially result in an overdose. In direct response to this crisis, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has integrated the Comprehensive Opioid Response with Twelve Steps (COR-12®) program into our national system of addiction treatment. The COR-12 treatment path includes individual and group therapy and lectures as well as the use of extended, adjunctive medication assisted treatment (MAT) as a means to assist people to a stable, Twelve Step-based recovery lifestyle and ultimate abstinence from opioids. This program has a proven track record of keeping patients engaged longer—thereby giving them time to regain health and hope, learn essential skills, and form connections that support their recovery. Staff members at the Beaverton and Newberg, OR, facilities live this response, every day. As one of the original locations to offer COR-12 programming, professionals at both of these sites are experts in offering this holistic approach—providing services in chemical health, mental health, physical health, and MAT. And the response is often initiated during the first phone call from a potential patient or family member. "When someone calls in and is connected with a Care Navigator, the conversation may immediately trigger the COR-12 track process," said Brittany Peterson, COR-12 clinical coordinator at Hazelden Springbrook in Newberg, Oregon. "This conversation often indicates 'flags' or potential areas of opioid misuse that can be followed up on during the intake process." The first three days of treatment are vital – both in defining the problem and developing a comprehensive care plan. In this time of early interactions between the patient and staff, discussions cover a broad spectrum of topics including insurance coverage, appropriate treatment approach, level of family involvement, possible legal issues, and ongoing recovery management options. "These are multifaceted conversations involving the full continuum of care, and our role is to bridge any gaps, initiate care, and provide education and resources," said Peterson. "Through it all, the patient is an active participant as a part of the team, and that is really a special aspect of what we do here." Hazelden Betty Ford in Newberg The treatment services in Newberg offer patients a safe, supportive place to heal. In addition to residential and day treatment, Hazelden Betty Ford in Newberg is also recognized as a leader in the addiction treatment field for providing: treatment for patients who have dealt with trauma LGBTQ-integrative care health care professionals treatment program medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment As the first COR-12 coordinator for this site, Peterson is focused on standardizing treatment and ensuring consistency for patients in the COR-12 track. In this role, she works to ensure long-term engagement and ongoing connectedness for patients as they move forward in their recovery—whether they are transitioning to sober structured housing or living at home, and accessing outpatient services at Beaverton, the Betty Ford Center, or another treatment site. The COR-12 program continues to expand as more individuals seek supportive care with the use of MAT and as Hazelden Betty Ford employees provide education to and form partnerships with external agencies. "Our Opioid Support group now meets twice a week, and it's really become a sacred space for patients to talk about issues specific for recovery from opioids," said Peterson. "Previously, we had separate groups on both the men and women's units; however, these groups are now combined and the participants are loving it." The combined groups allow for a broader scope of support and peer-led education, while also supporting individuals as they learn how to cultivate healthy relationships in recovery. Hazelden Betty Ford in Beaverton With its new location, the Beaverton facility provides more convenient access to care. It offers a broad spectrum of treatment and recovery support services including intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and continuing care services. For individuals in the COR-12 program, ensuring a smooth transfer to the next level of care is critical for keeping patients engaged and on track. "Our outpatient services provide accessible 'step-in' and 'step-down' programming," said Samantha Pauley, manager of the Outpatient Program at Beaverton. "For patients stepping into treatment, we can support them in finding detox services as needed, and then they can easily transition to the appropriate level of care within our programs. For step-down programming, a really strong handoff is required for coordination—making sure that things are seamless is key to successful transitioning. It assures that patients can start almost immediately within the program." Beaverton offers onsite medication management and support therapeutic group services that individuals can access for as long as desired. Often, this is upwards of 18 to 24 months into recovery. Long-term engagement offers the stabilization and support needed to successfully transfer off of medication, while maintaining a healthy recovery. Integrated approach advantage The integrated addiction treatment approach involves all counselors, clinical team, medical providers and support staff, across both of Hazelden Betty Ford's Oregon locations. Weekly team meetings and regular case consultations focus on the COR-12 population and other high-risk patients for the purpose of strategically engaging, transitioning and supporting these individuals, at every stage in their recovery journey. Team members Vicki Gettel and Carol Dugan, care coordinators at Springbrook, are also instrumental in helping patients navigate to self management in recovery. As strong advocates, they are "experts in the tough conversations" and work with sober housing and area organizations to ensure patients have an ongoing network of connections and the resources they need to thrive in their home communities. And the attention to building strong therapeutic alliances and longer term relationships is making a difference in the lives of the patients. With evening and daytime options at both locations, and groups ranging from 15 to 18 individuals, many individuals in the COR-12 program are now into 18-20 months of sobriety and continuing to participate in their group once a week. "As more people gain knowledge and become aware of their own use of opioid medications, we're working with more organizations in the Portland area to address the preventive side of the opioid use," said Pauley. "In turn, this allows us to greatly enhance our outreach and provide the full continuum of care—from prevention through treatment and into long-term recovery."