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Virginia Beefs Up Opioid Task Force In Franklin County

|Includes:BioCorRx Inc. (BICX)

Franklin County's Opioid Task Force were receiving $100,000 after Virginia's state college approved the budget last week, Senator Stanley Rosenberg told media.

The fresh budget is a much-welcome boost for a county that is lacking in detox centers amid increasing incidents of opioid addiction.

Opioid Task Force is a local volunteer group that is working to combat the problem of drug addiction in Franklin County. It has also been funded by the House of Representatives with a budget of $100,000.

Recently, the Boston Globe reported that Franklin County has no detox facilities in the territory amid having 12 confirmed or suspected opioid-related deaths and 50 cases of overdoses since December.

"Without detox beds, the county has no immediate way to help addicts when they first decide to wean themselves from drugs, and no beds for the immediate follow-up care that helps prevent relapses," the article said.

It cited the case of a 34-year old woman who was supposed to leave for a residential drug treatment program in Pittsfield but was found dead due to heroin overdose.

The publication also quoted outreach worker Michael Baldanza saying that "people are dying because there are no beds."

In addition to not having any facilities in the county, it is difficult to find detox beds in nearby areas.

Baldanza said it's difficult for them to call these facilities and learn there are no available beds, leaving them to wonder if the patient will have a chance to survive.

Stakeholders claim it is hard for patients to seek treatment elsewhere.

In the meantime, the state panel released recommendations "to deal with the epidemic of opioid abuse," The Recorder reported in another article.

Eighteen focus groups resulted in recommendations including filling up detox gaps and looking into insurance companies' criteria on who gets addiction treatment.

The panel is eyeing a detoxification program in Franklin County worth $550,000.

"There has been a recommendation for the addition of a detox program in Franklin County. We've heard that that's a gap in addressing the continuum of care there, and that's something that we have already been prioritizing, so it seems like that's aligned with what we think is needed out there," said Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett.

In the meantime, people seeking treatment will have to look into alternative programs that will give them flexibility.

Companies like BioCorRx Inc. (BICX) offer life coaching that can be done online through their Start Fresh Program which is used by independently owned addiction centers.

However, their Start Fresh Program's dual approach also includes the use of a naltrexone implant to help curb a person's craving for alcohol or opioids.

Because it comes in implant form, the naltrexone's effects last for at least six months in most patients, effectively keeping the patient sober so he can focus on the life coaching sessions.

"Once they are done with the (implant) procedure, they enter the life coaching phase of the program which includes 15 or more sessions usually over a six month period. In those sessions, the life coach helps the patient to develop tools that will enable them to recognize and deal with triggers that would normally cause them to use or drink. The coaching program is focused on moving forward and not looking back," BioCorRx COO Brady Grainier said in an earlier interview.

"These sessions can take place face to face or via Skype so that the person's recovery fits within the framework of their own lives," he added.

Stocks: BICX