State-funded project trains healthcare providers in new opioid treatment

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A state-funded project called ‘Get-Waivered Texas’ aims to train healthcare providers with a new life-saving treatment for anyone dealing with opioid addiction.

The new treatment uses a medication called buprenorphine for opioid dependence.

In order to legally provide this treatment, doctors must get a waiver and go through a live training session.

Back in February, the project received a $1 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control to train doctors in rural parts of the state.

In 2017, there were nearly 1,500 overdose deaths throughout Texas, more than any other year on record.

“Any urban center in the United States, and Travis County and Austin Texas is not immune to this, is struggling with opioid use disorder,” said Jennifer Sharpe-Potter, Professor of Psychiatry at UT Health in San Antonio. “For every person who comes forward, we know there are other people that are struggling, so if we only look at overdose deaths we could almost underestimate that problem at our peril.”

Officials say the new treatment is highly effective and can reduce the overdose rate by fifty percent.

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