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Ideal Option moves to larger facility in Great Falls

Ideal Option
Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 14:39:36-05

GREAT FALLS — Ideal Option has been helping people break free from their addictions in Great Falls for years and recently they were able to move to a bigger location at 617 10th Avenue South.

“We’re not going to judge you,” Dawn Underwood, a nurse practitioner at Ideal Option said, “If you walk through the door, this is an open space, non-judgmental, we’re just here to help.”

This is a key motto for Ideal Option, a national addiction center that recently moved to its new location. Ideal Option uses the drug buprenorphine to help treat substance abuse disorders.

“What it does is it stabilizes the brain, so it allows people to have functioning lives again,” Deni Fitzpatrick, another nurse practitioner said, “And be able to, you know, not use opiates off the street or a prescribed and overusing those opiates.”

Ideal Option is a low barrier and high occupancy clinic, meaning it is easy get involved and start recovery right away. They will set you up with a peer outreach specialist, who is someone who has been through the addiction and recovery process. The goal is to relate to those who are struggling, showing them that there is hope and recovery is possible.

“We’ll accept anybody that’s wanting to get help, we don’t turn people away,” Josh Hipler, a peer outreach specialist said, “And it’s just, part of recovery is messing up from time to time, and that doesn’t keep you from coming back, we will allow you to continue to come back. And it’s just trial and error, you just keep trying until it gets right.”

Ideal Option was able to move from the Columbus Center into their new location with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The grant also helped expand services for the clinic, allowing for more people to receive help.

According to the Great Falls Police Department, there were more than 1,000 overdoses in Montana in 2022, with 108 occurring in Cascade County. Ideal Option is trying to reduce these numbers with medication. While some may be wary about replacing an opioid with another drug, Ideal Option reports this:

“A recent Yale-led study, published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, concluded that treating opioid disorder with an abstinence-based approach is significantly more harmful than a medication-based approach. Researchers found that, compared with no treatment at all, methadone and buprenorphine reduced the risk of death by 38% and 34% respectively, while abstinence-based treatments increased the risk of death by over 77%.”

“We’re fighting the stigma that’s out there for addiction and medication assisted treatment,” Hipler said, “There’s a lot of negative stigma on it, and part of our jobs is to try to get rid of that.”

The new clinic is located at 617 10th Avenue South. It has capacity for up to 70 patients a day, helping Ideal Option further impact the Great Falls community in a positive way.

You can find out more by visiting their website, or by calling 877-522-1275.