Cora Health Addresses Opioid Crisis

by Mike Hunter

According to Arizona’s Department of Health services, more than 2,000 Arizonans lost their lives to opioid overdoses in 2021 and there were more than 52,000 opioid-related emergency department visits. Aiming to help address this, board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Betsy Serrano recently opened Cora Health Solutions in the Arcadia/Biltmore area.

With family roots deep in the Metropolitan Phoenix area, Serrano says, “I know this town inside and out. … Human trafficking and drug trafficking remain at an all-time high with narcotics like fentanyl and methamphetamine infiltrating our Arizona communities and beyond. We need to support our communities and help those who need to escape this drug pandemic.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has required clinicians who want to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder to undergo a training and registration process. Education and training are certified through Provider Clinical Support System sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; it is a national and clinical mentoring project developed in response to the prescription opioid misuse epidemic and the availability of pharmacotherapies to treat opioid use disorder. 

In 2019, the required twenty-five-hours training Serrano had completed to treat opioid addiction was replaced by an eight-hour program simply because there were not enough practitioners trained to treat it. 

Serrano has extensive training in Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment Resistant Depression — two of the most difficult issues to treat. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University and continued her education, receiving her Master of Science in Nursing. She has worked in almost every department in the hospital, and quickly discovered behavioral health to be her passion. As a psychiatric mental health NP, she treats all outpatient mental health issues throughout a person’s lifespan — including anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, and depression, (including Treatment Resistant Depression) and more — and is a Spravato treatment specialist.

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