Mental health and substance misuse concerns have resonated across the United States, including BestNotes’ home state of Idaho. Check out this news roundup of some of the top behavioral health-related stories affecting the state.
Fentanyl-Laced Counterfeit Drugs Increasing in Idaho
Idaho law enforcement agencies are warning the public about a rising supply of pain medications laced with the opioid fentanyl, matching an increase that agencies across the nation have noticed. Idaho State Police (ISP) reports that troopers seized 195 fentanyl pills in 2019, and 20,000 in 2020. The agency has seized nearly 28,000 fentanyl pills in 2021 up to September.
ISP Sgt. Kurt Sproat notes that counterfeit pills are often disguised as prescription medications that may fool new drug users, causing dangerous overdoses. Nycole Thomas, RN, of Northpoint Recovery in Meridian says that the treatment center plans to expand from 22 beds to 48 due to a rising demand for overdose treatment.
Crisis Hotline Opening for Idaho First Responders
Magellan Health, Inc. is launching a free, confidential, 24-hour crisis line for Idaho workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes all first responders and frontline health-care workers, as well as Idaho National Guard citizen soldiers and airmen assisting hospitals experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients.
Hotline callers can dial 1 (800) 327-7451 (TTY 711) to speak directly with a certified licensed mental health clinician. Callers can also be connected to information about other available resources for those responding directly to the pandemic.
Organizations Receive Over $17 Million in Idaho Community Program Grant Funds
Thirty-five organizations in Idaho have received more than $17 million in Idaho Community Program Grant funds, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for Child Care Development Fund. The awards have come through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
These funds aim to serve children who have experienced academic learning loss and need behavioral health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that will receive grant funds include:
Boys & Girls Clubs (6 statewide clubs)
Idaho Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs
Children’s Home Society of Idaho
Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (3 programs)
University of Idaho Extension (18 programs)
Idaho Resilience Project
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Have Potential for Idaho
Mental illness and drug overdoses are plaguing Idaho, but certified community behavioral health clinics could be the answer, Sen. Jeff Agenbroad (R-Nampa) and Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise) write in an opinion piece for the Idaho Statesman. These facilities offer 24-hour crisis care and evidence-based services for individuals with behavioral health needs.
The lawmakers write that such clinics can help people avoid jail, reduce emergency department visits, and save taxpayer money. The Idaho Behavioral Health Council, appointed by Gov. Brad Little, has recommended that Idaho explore how to implement the certified community behavioral health clinic model.
Behavioral health providers in Idaho face many challenges. At BestNotes, we believe your EHR software shouldn’t be one of them.
We are committed to developing software that helps your practice function more efficiently, reducing the administrative burden for clinicians so they have more time to do what they do best. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for your practice!