Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the combination of “Stay-at-Home” orders, travel restrictions, unemployment, and an uncertain economic future created a matrix of stress, anxiety, and isolation that had a noticeable impact on the mental health of the residents of Los Angeles County. In this atmosphere of uncertainty and doubt, many residents of L.A. County developed substance use disorders, including opioid and alcohol addictions. In response, clinicians and health agencies in Los Angeles County have continued expanding their efforts to address these substance use disorders. My Health LA is committed to working with the various agencies in Los Angeles County with the goal of addressing substance use disorders among our participants.
Substance Abuse and Prevention and Control (SAPC) of the LA County Department of Public Health is tasked with implementing policies and strategies to prevent substance use disorders and treat those who are affected by alcohol and other drug misuse. SAPC contracts with numerous providers and services to provide substance use disorder treatment services to the residents of Los Angeles County. More information on SAPC as well as a variety of resources can be found on their website publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc.
SAPC and My Health LA have worked to expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), recognized as a highly effective means of treating substance abuse disorders. MAT is the use of FDA-approved medications together with counseling and support groups as a means of effective and sustainable treatment for substance abuse disorders. The following medications are on the MHLA formulary: Buprenorphine, Disulfiram, Naloxone and Natrexone. Information on MAT, resources, and the myths surrounding MAT can be found at matworks.org. MHLA encourages our CPs to connect participants to MAT resources.
As a reminder, MHLA participants can get access to MAT if the prescriptions are written by a CP provider, a DHS provider or a SAPC provider. Once they have a prescription written, MHLA participants will be able to pick up their MAT prescriptions at any MHLA network pharmacy, including the Ventegra pharmacies, on-site pharmacies or dispensaries or 340B pharmacies. MHLA encourages our CPs to connect participants to MAT resources, as well as connecting with SAPC if interested.