EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The opioid crisis has made it painfully obvious that conquering addiction is a lifelong process. But like any dedicated commitment, it begins with the very first step.

For those looking to take that first step to recovery, there are many avenues for help.

One such option is the Wright Center for Community Health a Pennsylvania designated opioid use disorder center of excellence.

As an addiction medicine specialist for the Wright Center for Community Health, Dr. Charlie burns helps patients one-on-one conquer their opioid use disorder.

41-year-old Charlene Yurgaitis sought out Dr. Burns in 2020 to help conquer her addiction to opioids.

Her recovery program includes what’s called medication-assisted treatment like the injectable, sublocade, given once a month, or the daily oral treatment, suboxone.

“It takes the cravings away. It helps you get up in the morning,” said Yurgaitis.

“It’s been an invaluable help to people who are trying to recover from addiction,” stated Charles Burns, MD Addiction Medicine Specialist at the Wright Center for Community Health

Medication-assisted treatment is also offered to female patients participating in the Wright Center’s Healthy MOMS program. MOMS is an acronym for maternal opiate medical support.

Think of it as a program to help new moms with substance use disorder meet health, financial, legal, and personal needs. It meant everything to Brittany Bainbridge and her two-year-old daughter, Leona. Bainbridge is now three years sober.

“They have helped me with my daughter. They’ve helped me get to appointments. They have helped me in so many ways,” explained Bainbridge.

“I’m very proud of that program,” said Maria Kolcharno, Director of Addiction Services at the Wright Center for Community Health.

The Wright Center’s Director of Addiction Services Maria Kolcharno oversees the program designed to help fill what’s often been a void in addiction services.

“These mothers go untreated, not given the real service piece that they really do require in order to raise a healthy baby and maintain their lifestyle of sobriety,” stated Kolcharno.

Treatment options like this are proving successful but.

“Addiction, in my world, we have to treat it like a chronic condition,” said Scott Constantini, Associate VP of Primary & Recovery Services Integration at the Wright Center for Community Health.

To go from crisis to hope, the Wright Center’s Associate Vice President of Primary and Recovery Services Integration says it takes an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“It can’t be just on the medical profession. It can’t just be on law enforcement. It can’t just be on the treatment providers. Everybody has to come together as one united front and work together and communicate the problems and the successes to move forward,” explained Constantini.

It’s also important to point out that, unlike traditional inpatient rehab facilities, the Wright Center for Community help offers recovery services on an outpatient basis.