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Addiction treatment center to open in Harrisburg

Migliore Treatment Services is a new addiction treatment center located in Dauphin County. - (Photo / Submitted)

The lights are on, the air conditioning is running and everything is ready to go at a new addiction treatment center in Dauphin County. Migliore Treatment Services is just waiting to accept its first clients.

The Swatara Township-based center had been waiting for contract approvals from private insurance companies and the state Medicaid program.

Its first approval is in hand, from Harrisburg-based Capital BlueCross, and Migliore expects to start accepting clients within the next few weeks, according to Renea Snyder, the center’s CEO.

Snyder owns the for-profit venture with her husband, Corey Lingenfelter, who will serve as CFO. The couple has personally invested in the start-up business, but declined to disclose the amount.

They decided to call their center “Migliore,” because it means “absolute best” in Italian. Their goal is to become the gold standard of addiction treatment providers.

“American words weren’t really jibing,” Snyder said.

Submitted

Snyder, who previously worked as the drug and alcohol program manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, quit her job of nearly 13 years to help people get into treatment.

Pennsylvania, along with the rest of the country, is facing what some are describing as the worst health care crisis in U.S. history. An increase in opioid pain pill and heroin use is leading to record numbers of overdose deaths.

Snyder’s position with the state, combined with her role as a volunteer at a local homeless shelter, exposed her to the inconsistencies and barriers people face in trying to get treatment. She saw a need for standardized treatment systems in the state.

“I literally was sleeping, and at 3 a.m. I woke up my husband and said, ‘I’m retiring and I’m opening a treatment facility,'” Snyder said.

She faced some struggles in the beginning, such as prospective landlords who weren’t keen on leasing to an addiction treatment center.

Eventually, she was approved for a location at 60 S. 41st St. The building, built in the late 1800s, offers 3,100 square feet and has training rooms, group rooms, staff offices a client lounge and a waiting area.

Migliore will offer medication-assisted treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment centers like Migliore are opening across the state, but they’re not all following the same treatment.

For instance, Migliore will offer medication-assisted treatment, while other treatment centers might require patients to abstain completely from any substances, including those used to help curb addiction cravings.

Migliore will follow evidence-based treatment that is suggested by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.

Relying on materials from SAMHSA, Migliore will personalize addiction treatment for people based on mental health, gender and even criminal history.

People can receive outpatient services two or three days a week and intensive outpatient services three to five days a week at Migliore.

Both will include a mixture of individual and group therapy sessions. Individuals will also be assessed for factors such as trauma and co-occurring conditions.

In addition to therapy, certain patients will take an extended-release injection medication called naltrexone or Vivitrol, which blocks the receptor in the brain that craves opioids and alcohol.

Patients on Vivitrol have to be opioid-free for a minimum of one to two weeks to avoid sudden withdrawal, and the injection has to be coupled with other alcohol or drug recovery programs such as counseling, according to the Vivitrol website.

Employees of Pittsburgh-based Positive Recovery Solutions, a mobile medical center, will administer Vivitrol to patients at Migliore.

Despite waiting for additional insurance contracts, Snyder is confident that she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.

“I know that truly there’s a plan for us,” Snyder said.

Statewide initiatives to increase opioid treatment

The evidence-based approach to treatment that Snyder has planned for Migliore is similar to an initiative being launched by the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that the state is providing funding to create opioid-related treatment programs at facilities across the state, which will be called Centers of Excellence.

The centers will coordinate care specifically for Medicaid patients, and they will integrate behavioral and primary health care, as well as provide medication-assisted treatment when necessary.

Snyder believes that Migliore meets the requirements to become a Center of Excellence, and it will apply for state funds in January.

The state has $34.2 million available for up to 50 Centers of Excellence. So far the department has approved 20 facilities.

Lenay Ruhl

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