Program for Addictive Disorders

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Published on March 21, 2017

Program for Addictive Disorders

Dr. Molly Rossignol

Dr. Molly Rossignol with patient Jason Smith

Dr. Molly Rossignol quickly discovered the Program for Addictive Disorders (PAD) would be an important addition to Concord Hospital and the community. On her first day, she was asked to consult on several Hospital patients with substance use disorders. Within days, illustrating how pervasive addiction is throughout society, staff and colleagues sought her advice about a child, spouse or friend they had concerns about related to alcohol, cannabis and other substances including opioids.

Established in December 2015 at Concord Hospital Family Health Center, the program, which is in collaboration with Riverbend Community Mental Health, provides evaluation and treatment for people struggling with substance use disorders and is available to support doctors and other clinicians seeking resources and treatment for their affected patients.

Dr. Rossignol, a board-certified addiction medicine physician, and Ann Branen, RN, evaluate and determine the level of care for each patient. Some patients meet criteria for psychosocial counseling, plus medication, while some may need referral to more intensive or residential care. The goals of treatment are to assist in finding long-term recovery from addiction — a chronic medical illness.

Nationally, from 2007 to 2014, substance misuse disorder cases reported by insurance companies increased from 217,000 a year to seven million. The increase can be attributed to recognition of the effects of this disease (intoxication, overdose and intravenous infections) as well as an increase in the number of opioids prescribed and the rise in heroin availability and use. In addition, substance misuse was clearly identified as a priority in the 2015 Capital Region Health Needs Assessment which placed drug misuse as one of the most acute healthcare problems in Concord Hospital’s service area.

Dr. Rossignol said the attention focused on the opioid and heroin crisis gives some the determination to ask for help, though is prevalent and prevents many from seeking services. The typical PAD patient is a 25-to-35-year-old male, many referred for treatment after confiding in their Family Health Center physician. Others are referred by family members. Events such as witnessing a friend overdose often move one to seek help.

Dr. Rossignol currently sees patients from within Family Health Center in Concord or Hillsboro. She hopes to expand to be able to care for patients referred from other community providers in the coming year.

Many of the patients are finding wellness in recovery, taking responsibility for their general health and their future including quitting smoking and getting a flu shot.