Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Long Waiting Lists for Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Those who work in the field of addiction medicine and treatment would agree that time is of the essence; every day that passes without receiving help is another day where one’s life is at risk - especially when it comes to opioid addiction. What’s more, making the choice to seek help for addiction is often times a split-second decision; telling an addict that they have to wait for help while a bed opens up, often results in that same addict changing their mind when the spot finally opens.

As the nation continues tackling the opioid epidemic, people continue to lose their lives every day. On top of that, in the parts of the country hardest hit by the crisis, the waiting times for admission to a treatment facility can be staggering. At the beginning of the month, the White House announced that it would ask Congress for $1.1 billion to help fund addiction treatment services, which would hopefully shorten waiting times.

In recent years, there has been call from a number of government health agencies for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). The use of drugs like buprenorphine, formulas of which are sold under the brand name Suboxone or Subutex, have been found to not only help opioid addicts withdraw, they also have been found to dramatically reduce the risk of relapse on prescription opioids or heroin. Unfortunately, many opioid addicts are finding it difficult to gain access to MAT.

If you have been following the news, you may be aware that New England is struggling to assist opioid addicts. In fact, almost 500 addicts in Vermont are currently on waiting lists to receive medication for opioid addiction, Stateline reports. You may find it hard to believe that more than half of those same people will wait close to a year. A lot can happen over the course of 365 days, such as a potential overdose.

Part of the problem is that doctors need to acquire a separate license to prescribe buprenorphine drugs, according to the article. While that may not seem like a hard task, the majority of physicians have failed to do so, despite the knowledge that we are in the midst of an epidemic. In the U.S., more than 900,000 physicians have the ability to write prescriptions for opioid painkillers, but fewer than 32,000 doctors have received a license to prescribe buprenorphine.

“What is a concern to me is that more physicians don’t feel the responsibility to step up,” said Melinda Campopiano, chief medical officer at HHS’ Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!