Alton Memorial Hospital is launching a new substance abuse program to help fight the opiate epidemic. The Warm Handoff Program will be based out of the Center for Behavioral Health and Addiction Medicine. It will offer help to adults who present to the AMH Emergency Department and are in active withdrawal from opiate addiction.

The program affords them an opportunity to be observed, given medication to help with the withdrawals, and prescribed up to three days of medication. After that, Patient Navigator Elizabeth Bhandari tells The Big Z a follow-up appointment will be made for them by a peer recovery specialist with one of the hospital’s partners in the county.

Click here for Bhandari's comments

A peer recovery specialist is a staff member hired specifically for the Warm Handoff Program who has a lived experience from substance abuse, allowing patients to feel more comfortable without being judged from a societal stigma of addiction. For more information call 618-463-7780.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)