For the past 18 months, anyone struggling with opioid addiction could walk into Community Regional Medical Center’s emergency department and find relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms – and help getting into an addiction recovery program.

As part of the grant-funded Bridge program the downtown Fresno hospital has a doctor and a substance use navigator dedicated to providing support, counseling and the medication Suboxone, which safely controls withdrawals and helps patients stay in recovery from opioid use disorder.

The success of the Bridge program led the California Department of Health Care Services to commit another $20 million in September to expand to 212 hospitals statewide and include patients with other substance use disorders such as alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

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