DUBOIS, CLEARFIELD COUNTY - Just Thursday Dr. Tom Radecki and family nurse practioner Heidi Gregg opened a new practice in DuBois.
The facility is an extension of Dr. Radecki's Clarion Office.
"It's a combination psychiatric practice and addiction medicine so some people come just for psychiatric care and some for the addiction. With addiction we are treating people who get addicted to pain pills." said Dr. Tom Radecki, Psychiatrist and Addiction Specialist.
"These people are hardworking neighbors of everybody in the community and what we do here is help them so they can function in a normal life" said Heidi Gregg, Family Practioner.
"For opiod dependence the only thing we use is suboxone. It's a partial stimulator and a partial blocker" said Radecki.
When someone takes suboxone and then, takes a narcotic the narcotic loses its effect and therefore they stop taking drugs, Dr. Radecki explains. It is not like methadone.
"It doesn't stimulate you enough you're going to get high on it; you don't feel like you will crash. You feel normal and we ween you off of it" he said.
"If they go cold turkey they will relapse. They might be clean for a day, a month, but eventually they will relapse. They are going to run into somebody. Go to some place and it's going to start the cycle. Drug addiction is a cycle" said Gregg.
The office is only open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and occassional Saturdays and by appointment only from 9:00am - 6:00pm.
The first day it opened was a group say so 40 plus people were there. This happens about once a month, but signs have been posted for no smoking or loitering in the parking lot.
In a day, about 25 people will visit the office. Each person going through the program must take a urine test.
"That keeps them on the straighten arrow" said Radecki.
"Without programs like we have here alot of them wouldn't be successful" adds Gregg.
The program is not funded and the patients pay for the service.
As far as the location, they say it is unfortunate people with drug addictions have such a stereotype held against them and these people are truly trying to get clean.
If they do not pass the urine tests that test for 12 different drugs or if they appear to be using the program they are not allowed to return.