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New addiction treatment clinic opens in Grand Forks

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--Fighting addiction.

After 4 opioid overdose deaths last year -- a new treatment facility opens its doors in Grand Forks.

Ideal Option is where patients fighting opioid addiction can get help. It's the first clinic of it's kind in Grand Forks. And soon more help is going to be on the way.

"The problem is so devastating that and it doesn't seem to be getting better,” said Dr. Jeff Allgaier, of Ideal Option.

After two weeks in business -- Dr. Jeff Allgaier's clinic near Columbia mall already has 50 patients.

"We focus on medication assisted treatment which is the most up to date evidence based practice,” said Dr. Algaier.

A medication you can't get at your family doctor.

Only at this clinic, a handful of doctors will prescribe medications like Suboxone -- relieving symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

"It comes in two main forms. One is a tablet or a film strip,” said Dr. Rose Julius, of Red River Behavioral Health.

Doctor's say medication assisted treatment is the cutting edge of ending addiction; but it's not a complete solution.

"Medication should be accompanied by counseling. Psychosocial treatment as well to have the best impact,” said Dr. Julius.  

And more clinics are on the way.

Red River Behavioral Center on the south side of Grand Forks plans to open a similar practice in about a month.

"Addiction is not something that a community is going to be able to arrest its way out of,” said Lt. Derik Zimmel, of the Grand Forks Police Department.

Emergency responders are hopeful the treatment works.

After several people died from opioids and hundreds were sent to the E-R --

"We're working as fast as possible to get it up and running,” said Dr. Julius.

-- they're relying on this treatment to change lives.