FORT MYERS, Fla. — A new clinic is ready to fight the growing opioid addiction crisis in Southwest Florida. SalusCare opened their Medication Assisted Treatment clinic at their location at 3763 Evans Avenue in Fort Myers.
"We know that opioid addiction is an epidemic now," said Dr. Zaheer Aslam, an addiction psychiatrist who heads the new clinic.
Aslam said that more and more young adults are abusing opioids recreationally, and that many older adults are getting hooked through pain medication.
He and his team are helping people overcome their addictions with a combination of counseling, and the medication Buprenorphine - a drug that Aslam calls "life-saving," and one that he hopes more clinics can start using.
"We don't have enough providers and enough clinics to meet the need," he said.
While Buprenorphine helps prevent withdrawal symptoms, the SalusCare clinic is also using other medications such as Vivitrol, along with counseling sessions.
"With the opioid crisis, where there's one person dying every ten to fifteen minutes, it should be an essential part of the treatment and recovery of people suffering from their addictions," Aslam said.
Funding sources for the treatment include grants from the State of Florida and Lee County. The clinic also accepts self-paying and insured patients.