Create a better path
If you or someone you know needs help for a heroin or prescription drug problem, we can help. ClearPath Clinic provides medically assisted treatment and recovery resources, and much more.
For patients. For families. For medical providers. For us all.
ClearPath is a nonprofit medically assisted treatment and recovery program for opiate addiction. It is the first nonprofit in Minnesota operating a recovery-oriented system of care while embracing medically assisted treatment options as part of its process.
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How are we providing greater hope for preventing, treating and recovering from opiate addiction? With a healthy medical setting that serves patients, families and our entire community.
ClearPath Clinic is unlike anything Minnesota has seen before. ClearPath is a:
- Nonprofit medically assisted treatment and recovery program for opiate addiction that’s rooted in the recovery model.
- Community collaboration that came together in response to a public health epidemic.
- Training ground for area health providers who together can reach out to help people understand addiction is a disease.
Why It’s Better
Unlike stand-alone “methadone clinics” people hear about, this comprehensive nonprofit setting is using best medical practices along with effective, client-centered psychosocial treatment to help patients.
More effective: The combination of medically-assisted treatment with individualized counseling and therapy has been proven the most effective way to treat heroin and prescription drug addiction.
Safer: We help interrupt the “vicious cycle” of addiction using safer alternatives to methadone, when possible, and other non-intoxicating drugs to support treatment. It starts with stabilizing a patient, then we monitor and maintain engagement over a longer period of time.
More than Rx: we’re here to reach and engage individuals earlier in their addiction. And that has everything to do with individualizing treatment, teaching skills and supporting recovery for the long term.
What We Believe
Reduce harm to all. We exist to reduce the risks and harm to the person who is addicted, their family and the community. Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies—from safer use to managed use to abstinence—to meet drug users “where they’re at” and address conditions of use, along with the use itself. It is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.
Each path is unique. You’re not alone in facing the disease that is substance abuse and addiction. Yet you’re unique in finding and cultivating your path to clarity and ultimately a healthy recovery. It’s why our programs use many different approaches to treatment and recovery—so you can find the approach that’s most successful for you.
We’re in this together. Read below to see how our greater community is helping individuals and families overcome opiate addiction.
ClearPath Clinic’s therapies include pharmacotherapies combined with:
- Case management/case monitoring services
- Patient education
- Individual and group therapy
- Relapse prevention
- Motivational enhancement
- 12-Step facilitation
- Access to specialized methadone/Buprenorphine, naltrexone/Antabuse programs
Additional programming and services include:
- Pregnant women’s services
- Cross-cultural (Native American) services
- HIV/AIDS patients
- Female patients
- Parenting patients
As a program of CADT, our licensed treatment and recovery services include:
- Professional assessment and counseling
- Regional detoxification and Withdrawal Management
- High-intensity and medium-intensity residential treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Co-occurring outpatient group therapy
An epidemic has unfolded, locally and nationally, that’s costing lives and impacting the safety of communities. Opioid addiction increases crime, accidental death and the transmission of communicable and infectious diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV. It’s why ClearPath Clinic was created to provide what amounts to life-saving medicine for people suffering from opiate abuse.
What are opioids
Opioid drugs include heroin, opium, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, Lortab, Vicodin, Percocet, methadone and buprenorphine and similar drugs. Opium is produced from the resin in poppy flower seed pods. Opiates are drugs manufactured from opium. “Opioids” includes opiates as well as synthetic painkilling drugs like Vicodin, Lortab and others. All opioid drugs are classed as depressants. They slow down activity in the brain and central nervous system. Alone, or combined with other depressants like alcohol or benzodiazapines (Valium, Librium, Xanax etc.) they can stop breathing and cause overdose death.
As with all illegal drugs, the purity and potency can be unpredictable, depending on the manufacturing process, ingredients and what additives the final product has been cut with. Opiates are usually used intravenously, though some forms of opiate drugs can be smoked (opium) or snorted (white heroin). Heroin is a highly addictive drug and there is significant risk of overdose. However, synthetic opioids are just as addictive and just as deadly when misused or combined with other depressants.
Addressing an epidemic: locally and nationally
- 45% increase in admission for opioid treatment (for heroin or prescription pills) in St. Louis and Carlton counties between 2010 and 2013.
- 756 admissions by St. Louis County residents (863 in Ramsey Co.) for primary opioid addiction in 2013.
- Opioid admission rate/1000 population: 6.33 for Carlton County, 4.93 for St. Louis County, compared to 1.4/1000 for Ramsey County!
- Frequent and highly publicized accidental opioid overdose deaths in our region
- Over 500 registered users of the Rural Aids Action Network Syringe Exchange program in Duluth.
- Duluth has an HIV infection rate higher than the Twin Cities metro area.
- The prevalence of Hepatitis C in Duluth is three times as high as the rest of the state.
- The increased rates of HIV and Hepatitis C pose serious health and safety risks for this region. (RAAN, 2013).
- More opioid use. Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled. In 2013, nearly two million Americans abused prescription painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- More heroin use. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of people who reported using heroin within the previous year increased by 265,000.
- More deaths. Each day, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription painkillers. Heroin-related overdose deaths increased 39 percent between 2012 and 2013, surging to 8,257, according to the CDC.
- More hospital visits: the total number of drug-related Emergency Department (ED) visits increased 81 percent from 2004 (2.5 million) to 2009 (4.6 million). ED visits involving nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals increased 98.4 percent over the same period, from 627,291 visits to 1,244,679. The largest pharmaceutical increases were observed for oxycodone products (242.2 percent increase). –National Institute on Drug Abuse
Children at high risk
- 9 of 10 people with addiction started using substances before age 18.
–Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse at Columbia University
- Nearly half of all young people who inject heroin report abusing prescription painkillers before starting to use heroin.
–National Institute of Drug and Alcohol
Heroin and prescription pill addiction takes a toll on everyone. By stealing lives. By fracturing families and friendships. By straining resources for healthcare, law enforcement and beyond.
ClearPath Clinic is part of a community collaboration that has come together in response to this public health epidemic. Numerous organizations from across the region formed OARS (Opioid Abuse Response Strategies). This community-based collaboration includes:
- St Louis County Public Health & Human Services Department
- Duluth Police Department
- Essentia Health
- Rural Aids Action Network
- Fond du Lac
- UCare, Medica and other health insurance/managed care groups
- Pharmacists, dentists
- Treatment providers
Everyone feels the impact of this local epidemic. Everyone can have a hand in shaping a better path—for us all. Learn how your organization can support the effort to prevent, reduce and treat heroin and pain killer abuse in our region.
Addressing a public health need
Together, we are:
- Reducing accidental drug overdose deaths
- Reducing drug seeking behavior in our hospitals and primary care clinics
- Reducing demand for illegal drugs
- Reducing diversion of legal painkillers and opioid replacement drugs
- Reducing the transmission of infectious and communicable disease
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that when treating such disorders, or disease, the most successful approach for many people includes both medication and behavioral therapies.
It’s a clinically driven approach with a focus on individualized patient care.
–Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA CSAT) Division of Pharmacologic Therapies
Common Treatment Medications
Methadone, a synthetic narcotic, is used to eliminate withdrawal symptoms when opioid use is discontinued. It also "blocks" the effects of heroin and other drugs containing opioids. Methadone has been used successfully for more than 40 years in the treatment of opioid dependence. Methadone treatment is only available at outpatient opioid treatment programs (OTP), which must meet rigorous federal and state standards and offer a full array of comprehensive services.
Subutex and Suboxone® are medications approved for the treatment of opiate (including heroin and painkillers) dependence. Both medicines contain the active ingredient buprenorphine hydrochloride, which works to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.
Suboxone acts as a medical intervention to alleviate the painful symptoms of prescription medication withdrawal, in order to allow successful recovery and encourage a smooth continuance of day-to-day life for the patient. Once Suboxone treatment begins, a patient will experience a dramatic reduction in withdrawal symptoms and also a suppression of harmful drug cravings.
Buprenorphine is available in different generic and trade formulations from different manufacturers. Like methadone, it is used both to treat withdrawal symptoms and to block the cravings associated with opioid dependence. The blocking effect of these medications, when taken as prescribed, can help reduce the risk of relapse, and therefore overdose.
In order to prescribe this medication, physicians must be specially credentialed and receive a waiver granted by the DEA. Buprenorphine can be dispensed at an outpatient opioid treatment program, prescribed by physicians in OASAS licensed treatment programs or in properly credentialed physicians’ office settings.
Naltrexone (or naloxone) is a non-narcotic medication used to block opioid receptors so they cannot be activated. If a patient who has been administered naltrexone attempts to continue taking opioids, he or she is unable to feel any of the opioid’s effects due to naltrexone’s blocking action. Some research shows, and some patients report, that naltrexone can also relieve cravings.
Naltrexone is administered in an orally prescribed pill or in an injectable long-acting formulation (marketed under the brand name Vivitrol®), which is designed for once-monthly dosing. The FDA approved this medication for use in people with opioid use disorders to prevent relapse. Naltrexone should be used only in patients who have been detoxified from opioids and have been opioid free for 7-10 days. Naltrexone is available in outpatient opioid treatment programs, OASAS licensed treatment programs, and in many physicians’ offices.
ClearPath Clinic is accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).
CARF is an approved accreditation provider for opioid treatment programs providing outpatient, residential, and detoxification services in the United States.
Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
1402 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55805
For information on admission to ClearPath Clinic, please call the intake number at (218) 336-4663.