Puerto Rico receives federal support to fight the opioid crisis

Puerto Rico receives federal support to fight the opioid crisis
Public Health Medicine, 20-09-19

Public Health Medicine – The primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) He has granted Dr.. Nydia Cappas, director of the PHSU, two million dollars to subsidize the training of psychologists to work with the crisis of opioids and other problematic uses of drugs in Puerto Rico.

Faced with this event, the journal Medicine and Public Health (MSP) Dr. spoke with respect, who gave details of this new achievement for primary health care in Puerto Rico and psychology in general.

“The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) has worked hard in order to integrate the aspect of mental health clinics with physical settings where health services are offered on the island. Currently, the institution has taken a big step forward ",

Said the galena


"Our strategy is directed towards creating a workforce prepared to handle the issues that bring us health scenarios patients with problematic substance use",

said the specialist

further, Dr.. He added that it is incorporating the problematic use of substances because they know that, many times, professionals feel they do not have the tools or skills needed to work on matters of substance.

"What ends up happening is that when you are a patient with this need can not provide that service was at the time he will receive medical help",

Cappas expressed

Thus, This project has demonstrated advances that allow the patient to find services psychology or behavioral health services available in order to integrate patients who are experiencing problematic substance use in a visit to the primary care physician and, at the same stage, they can receive medical treatment. It also allows that there are professionals available concerning mental health.


"Our focus is on training and give them those tools to professionals since they are students; for what, when they leave, can be competent psychologists and psychologists in these areas

MSP told Dr.

further, the director of the PHSU also considers that such funds allow you to train clinical supervisors who are already offering services that can add this new aspect in his repertoire of clinical work.

Placement of trained students

As trained students, the idea is to place them in different places to apply that knowledge and "one of our greatest contributions is through the largest network of primary health centers are the centers 330”, which they have served for more than 40 years to low-income communities with limited health care in Puerto Rico. «They provide health services where most needed ", expressed the Doctor.

The idea is to place inmates in clinical psychology at these health centers or other like Coalitions Coalition, a non-profit organization that is in Puerto Rico with clinics in Ponce.

With them, for example, We're starting to put first-class student interns so they can provide the services we want in terms of practice. And, of course, that redound on a good treatment for our patients where their dignity is preserved, where they feel they have a place where they can go and they will be taken care of in a way you like

He told MSP

In this way, this type of primary health care for all kinds of people arriving seeking health services. further, allows access to the communities that need them most and favors all Puerto Ricans.

Primary Care Mission

Primary care is the gateway of Puerto Ricans and the entire health system in the United States. So, primary care mission is to address any problems that bring a patient.

When a patient has any health problems, the first thing is to look at your GP. So, with this integrated strategy of physical and mental health, what is sought is to give a chance also that these same patients have head and psychology, with that, ensure that the patient is well.

"We recognize that health is a unique concept. For the physical and mental we can not separate, It is one of the hand of the other ".

Finally, the idea of ​​starting the project is raised for this September.

"We are excited because we want to create a great impact on the health of Puerto Rico and one of the things that we lack are services that meet people with problematic substance use",

– He concluded
Public Health Medicine. (2019). Recovered from: