Aegis Ridgecrest to deliver increased options and ease of access for rural Kern County residents and beyond
Ridgecrest, CA – Aegis Treatment Centers, the largest outpatient treatment provider in California for opioid addiction, has opened a medication unit at 1111 W. Inyokern Road, Suite B, in Ridgecrest, approximately 100 miles east of Bakersfield.
Aegis Ridgecrest is the state’s third med unit. The other two, also Aegis centers, are located in Grass Valley and Placerville.
Intended for rural counties and to provide ease of access, medication units are treatment facilities which administer medicine such as methadone and buprenorphine in an effort to curb withdrawal symptoms from heroin and opioid addiction; prevent relapse; and quell the physical discomfort that frequently accompanies recovery from opioid use disorder. Med units also collect urine samples for drug testing and analysis.
A medication unit is geographically separated from its “home” opioid treatment program (OTP), which provides the full range of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services including individual and group counseling. Aegis’ home OTP for the Ridgecrest unit is Aegis Bakersfield Columbus.
“Many of our patients at the Bakersfield Columbus location travel long distances each day for their daily dose of life-saving medication,” said Javier Moreno, regional clinic manager, Aegis Treatment Centers. “These are individuals who are already struggling with their addiction; we want to make their lives easier, not harder, so they can get the help they need. If we can remove one barrier, such as distance, that’s one step closer we can bring them to recovery.”
As the opioid crisis has spread, it has affected both urban and rural communities across the country. California saw more than 2,000 opioid deaths in 2017, according to the California Department of Public Health. In 2017, 75 people died from opioid overdoses in Kern County, an 8 percent increase from the year before. And in 2018, there were 92 deaths recorded in the county, another increase.
The location of Aegis Ridgecrest is on the border of three counties. Officials from neighboring San Bernardino County are contracting with Aegis to enable their residents to have access to the med unit as well.
Aegis operates 35 opioid treatment programs throughout California. Aegis is owned by Pinnacle Treatment Centers, a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment services provider headquartered in New Jersey.
Pinnacle has four other medication units in Kentucky and one in Ohio, in addition to other treatment centers through the Midwest and East regions offering a full continuum of care.
“Med units like this are so important as they provide a bridge to services in places where there are little to no treatment options available,” added Holly Broce, MHA, LCADC, senior vice president of Pinnacle’s Opioid Treatment Program Division. “We are ready to make a difference in this community.”
Aegis Ridgecrest accepts Medical, Medicare, commercial insurance, and offers reasonable self-pay rates. The unit is open weekdays, 7- 11 a.m., and on weekends, 7- 9 a.m. Anyone needing a free confidential assessment can call 760-301-6945.