March 7, 2017
Drug addiction has continued to be an extremely large problem all over the country. The opioid epidemic has been one of the largest problems that have continued to plague many individuals. Opioids can be one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. They can produce an extremely strong dependency and addiction, and many attempts to overcome them but end up relapsing frequently.
A study recently put out by John Hopkins University has now shed light on what may be a major factor in the opioid epidemic. Many who are struggling with opioids have turned to buprenorphine maintenance or detox programs to help them to overcome the drugs. But the study has discovered that 43% of those who are receiving buprenorphine have also filled at least one opioid prescription, and it is assumed that they have either consumed it or passed it off.
How Maintenance Programs Operate
Typically, when it comes to buprenorphine programs, the person can often be recommended to remain on the medication for many months or years to be able to overcome substance abuse through this method. There are some who even end up staying on it for their entire lives. But the study found that the average length that individuals are actually remaining on it is around 55 days, far shy of what is recommended. And it was discovered that once individuals stopped receiving the medication, two-thirds of them went back to filling opioid prescriptions.
A large factor in all of this is the lack of communication between healthcare providers that is leading to this cross prescribing. A person may see several different providers for various things, including primary care, emergency, and addiction care, and can be receiving different prescriptions from them. While there are prescription drug monitoring programs that allow doctors to access a person’s prescription records and information, they are not being used as much as they should be. Caleb Alexander, who is the co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as part of the research team, had stated in regard to these programs, “Many doctors don’t use them. Many doctors aren’t even registered. Many who are registered don’t use them regularly.” This leads to doctors still being quite unaware of what others are prescribing and ends up with a person receiving meds that are counterproductive to each other. While there are some who purposely work to manipulate the system and get several prescriptions, responsibility also rests in the hands of the doctors, though the sole blame cannot be placed on either party. But the bottom line is that for individuals to receive the most quality and productive care, there needs to be stable and informative communication between providers.
What to Do When Seeking Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Addiction can be one of the cruelest conditions out there. It can cause a person to behave in ways they never would while sober and can end up destroying many things in their life, including careers, relationships, family, and responsibility. But fortunately, addiction is not something which is impossible to overcome. There are many different rehab centers and types of treatment that can help an individual to break free of their addiction. One important factor to keep in mind when it comes to finding treatment for addiction is to find a center that is suitable for the individual and aligns with their beliefs or ideas, whether it be religious or otherwise. There are many different treatment centers to sort through to find the right one, but we can assist with that. Our staff are informed about the different centers around the country and can help find the right one for you or your loved one. Do not wait, give us a call today.