By Karen Morfitt

(CBS4) – Every week Denver Health’s Center for Addiction Medicine provides treatment to dozens of new clients.

“There’s a pretty substantial, pretty robust process of assessing a patient,” said Dr. Josh Blum, the clinic’s medical director. “It does create some bottlenecks and makes it difficult to enroll huge numbers of people in short period of time.”

With that in mind, they’re watching the discussion around fentanyl at the Colorado State Capitol closely.

A proposed bill would require those convicted of fentanyl-related charges to be assessed for addiction and — in some cases — treated.

“To me that says that it is very likely that if we don’t have overt relationships with certain parts of the corrections community, we will at least get people who are discharging corrections, who will have been maintained on Medically Assisted Treatment who will need follow up. I anticipate that would increase our likelihood that you would have a lot of people showing up seeking care,” Dr. Blum said.

Brook Bender also works at the Denver Health clinic and is tasked with navigating those capacity concerns, specifically working to get more residential treatment options.

Health experts say the wait can sometimes be months long.

“I think access is a huge issue and so what we have established with Sobriety House is a kind of streamlined way of coordinating their care from the hospital straight directly to discharge into Sobriety House,” she said.

Bender says care coordination will be key in addressing the influx.

Both say regardless of the hurdles that need to be cleared, it’s something they’re both prepared to do.

“I personally think that’s a good problem to have if people are engaged in care want it, I look forward to figuring out how to accommodate a large influx of induvial,” Dr. Blum said.

Karen Morfitt