Polk County now has its first clinic where people can detox from drugs or alcohol with medication-assisted treatment.
Ideal Option, a private medication-assisted treatment center, opened its second local clinic on March 13 in west Salem. The expansion comes nearly three years after Ideal Option opened its first Salem location.
The clinic at 675 Orchard Heights Rd. N.W is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Patients can make an appointment by calling 1-877-522-1275 or at www.idealoption.com.
Ideal Option’s original Salem clinic is located at 863 Liberty St. N.E.
The clinic provides same-day prescriptions for medication to people transitioning off illegal drugs and uses treatment that minimizes how long people spend in withdrawal before getting help.
An addiction medicine specialist will provide the treatment for people addicted to fentanyl, meth, alcohol and other substances.
The new clinic is the only medication-assisted treatment provider in Polk County.
“The bridge is a nightmare to get into Salem and out of Salem,” said Josh Lair, the Salem community outreach coordinator for Ideal Option.
Lair said the second location also allows for walk-in patients to be treated more quickly.
“We don’t turn people away, we’re really just open. If somebody was to walk into one of our clinics, they will be seen,” he said. “They might have to wait if there’s a bunch of people on the calendar, but they would be seen. This just makes it so that there’s more access to services for folks.”
Even when people are ready to make a change, the pain and illness that can come with kicking a drug habit are one of the reasons it’s difficult to get people into treatment, Lair told Salem Reporter last July.
Treatment with legal prescription drugs like buprenorphine, which helps people ease off more dangerous opioids, is highly effective. But it generally requires sobriety for at least a day, at which point drug users are well into the worst symptoms of withdrawal, he said.
Long wait lists are another reason people are hesitant to go to such clinics, he said.
Many drug treatment programs require people to participate in counseling groups or meet one-on-one with counselors. Ideal Option focused on medical treatment first, providing same-day appointments and prescriptions intended to get people to use drugs less often.
Ideal Option was founded in 2012 and operates 86 clinics in 11 states, according to a news release.
The Salem clinic doesn’t carry a waitlist, according to Olivia Roe, Ideal Option spokeswoman.
It accepts most forms of insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. Patients can typically start treatment within one to three business days.
Ideal Option also began providing medication-assisted treatment at the Marion County Jail in January, paid for by a $924,000 state grant which expires at the end of the year. The money came from Measure 110 funding, the voter-approved ballot measure from 2020 which decriminalized user quantities of illegal drugs and directed part of the state’s marijuana tax revenue toward expanding addiction treatment services.
An Oregon Health Authority report found that in 2021, fentanyl and methamphetamine were the drugs most involved in unintentional overdose deaths in Oregon. Among Oregonians who died from such overdoses in 2021, 6% were receiving treatment for a substance use disorder, and 5% had received treatment in the past, according to a news release.
The rate at which Ideal Option’s patients test positive for fentanyl is continuing to increase, with more patients testing positive for multiple substances. The clinic’s data on patient outcomes in 2022 found 62% tested positive for more than one substance at enrollment, and 30% tested positive for three or more substances, the release said.
According to the data based on urine urine drug testing results, patients who remained in treatment with Ideal Option last year showed:
•97% less fentanyl use
•88% less methamphetamine use
•85% less total opioid use
•96% less heroin use
•62% less benzodiazepine use
“We are eager to provide our treatment services in west Salem and look forward to the long-term benefit for the population we serve,” said Rachel Overall, peer outreach specialist for Ideal Option in Marion and Polk Counties, in the news release.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.