BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A drug treatment center, Ideal Option, with facilities across the country, recently opened a new clinic in Bentonville. According to data obtained by Ideal Option, drug overdose deaths nearly doubled in the past three years in Benton and Washington counties.

Aaron Bunch with Ideal Option said more treatment options are needed in Northwest Arkansas. This is largely due to the increase in Fentanyl in illicit manufactured drugs.

“If this [a sugar packet] was a gram of Fentanyl, there is enough to make 1,000 people high. Can you believe it? 1,000 people off this one gram is enough to make 500 people overdose,” Bunch said.

Ideal Option uses Buprenorphine as a treatment to opioid addiction. According to Bunch, the drug partially binds to opioid receptors in the brain. It alleviates the cravings of withdrawal so that people can feel normal.

Bunch said people who are addicted to drugs feel like they’ve gone 28 days without food and they’ll do anything to get drugs again.

According to data obtained by Ideal Option, the number of fatal drug overdoses in Benton and Washington counties have nearly doubled in the past three years.

Ray Douglas has been sober for over a year. He said there was a time he didn’t even want to be alive. He felt like a burden, always chasing a high.

His addiction started in high school. Douglas hurt his knee and was prescribed hydrocodone. From there, he started using other drugs.

“Led me down a dark path– I guess you could say. I’ve hurt people. I’ve lied to people. I’ve stolen from people,” Douglas said.

According to Douglas, it’s easier to obtain illicit drugs than the average person would think. When he was in high school in Northwest Arkansas, he said it was very easy. You just had to talk to someone who knew someone. He added that social media made drugs a lot easier to obtain.

With an increase in overdoses, is an increased need for treatment availability. Douglas said a barrier he faced in finding treatment was money. He went to a doctor that didn’t accept insurance. He was having to pay $250 a month for his drug treatment medication that would only last a month.

Ideal Option has received a grant from the state. So, its able to treat people who don’t have insurance.

“The grant will pay for their treatment. So, we can get them into recovery today, as soon as possible,” Bunch said.

Jim Northcutt is another patient at Ideal Option, and he is sober with a house and job. He used to live in a tent at one point during his drug addiction. He said options are very limited for those on opioids.

“Dead, in jail or recovered– that’s pretty much it. And trust me, recovery, recovery is the one you want,” Northcutt said.

Ideal Option, although medicine-based, still helps people find other assistance like mental and behavioral treatment. They also help people find jobs. You can find out more about Ideal Option here.