GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.– Tonja Jimenez was a regular user of illicit drugs.

“I was an IV meth user. I went to jail in 2012. When I first went to jail I didn’t think I was an addict. After a month they let me out on a PR bond,” she says. That’s when she got a wake up call. “I was using again within 36 hours and that’s when I realized I was an addict.” Jimenez decided to get the help she desperately needed and went into treatment. “I actually turned myself back into the jail, and asked to see the judge, begged for help basically,” she says. She turned her life around, and earned a bachelor’s degree. Now, she works as a Peer Specialist on the Front Range Clinic Mobile Health Unit, helping other people who struggle with addictions. “We understand the struggle, the setbacks, and the small accomplishments and everything,” she says, when asked why Peer Specialists are an important part of the operation.

The mobile health unit is essentially a health clinic on wheels specializing in addiction treatment.
Each unit has a nurse, counselor and peer specialist. All critical services, according Donna Goldstrom, the Clinic Director of the Front Range Clinic.

“We give people medicine, which changes the brain chemistry and reduces the craving they have for the drug. And then we also give them the behavioral support that helps them build their life back up,” says Goldstrom.

The Mobile Clinic on the Western Slope makes stops in several rural cities, where access to critical care, according to Robert Werthwein, the director of the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, is limited. “One in ten residents in Colorado live in a place with little to no access to medicated treatment in Colorado,” he says.

“In these particular communities, there was a higher rate of overdose and a higher rate of opioid prescriptions being prescribed and a lower rate of access to treatment,” says Goldstrom.

Visit Link for Western Slope Mobile Clinic schedule:

Phone number: (866) 628-7828