MADISON — You would be hard pressed to find someone who has not been touched by the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in our community. We all know of a friend or possibly a family member who has lost someone to drug abuse.
“In my 23 years in healthcare I have seen hundreds of people simply throw away their families, careers, and even their lives. It is an all too frequent event here at BMH. A patient is brought in after being discovered by a family member and never regains consciousness. The family is left with a needless loss and children are left without parents and parents lose children,” said Brian Mosley, Director of Social Work at BMH.
Many resources are diverted to care for patients in these situations that could be used to treat a child, your grandmother or an injured worker. The financial cost to the community and local businesses is staggering. It is hard to imagine but employers are struggling to find well trained, responsible employees who are drug free.
“The scope of the problem is vast — Opioid overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the prevalence is second only to marijuana,” said Thomas McClellan, PhD, co-author of the studies and director of the new Center for Substance Abuse Solutions, housed in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
In response to this epidemic and the mission of Boone Memorial Hospital to continually assess the needs of the community, Boone Memorial hospital will begin offering treatment for patients who suffer from Opiate Dependence. Dr. Robert Chrest will be selecting 30 patients for treatment of Opioid addiction. Utilizing counseling and medication it will be a strict program with specific guidelines for entrance. Patients must adhere to guidelines, undergo random urine drug screens and attend counseling.
Dr. Robert Chrest is a Board Certified Emergency medicine physician and has completed certification for addiction treatment. He came to BMH approximately a year ago and is well-respected by his colleagues and patients.
Chrest graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 1997 and attended Marshall University for his undergrad where he completed 6 years in Biology. Chrest then attended Medical School in Lewisburg and completed his ER Residency in Wheeling.
Prior to coming to Boone Memorial, Chrest worked at the Ohio Valley Medical Center, East Ohio Regional Hospital and Weirton Medical Center during his Residency.
Chrest and his in-laws have close ties to Boone County. His wife (formerly Alisha Bolton) is from Boone County and graduated from Scott High School in 1997.
“In Medical School I signed on with BMH and they helped me with tuition about 7 years ago. Although I do have a commitment to meet, I had truly always hoped to work at Boone Memorial and plan to do so for the long-term. I am happy to be here and very excited to provide Suboxone treatment.”
Tommy Mullins, CEO of Boone Memorial Hospital states, “We have seen such a need for so long that we cannot ignore the problem. We had to do something and think that this small step will make a large impact on the lives of those who take advantage of the program. We are also very happy to have such a well-qualified, caring doctor, such as Chrest, on board.
To be considered for the program call 304-369-2931.