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Showing posts with the label addiction treatment

The Tsunami Effect of Opioid Dependence

In one of the first studies of its kind, the FAIR Health group released some very interesting information last fall.  This group used claims data from privately insured persons to illustrate some obvious, but very shocking conclusions about privately insured persons who are regular opioid users.
The data from this study looked at (non-identifying) data from insurers who cover upwards of 150 million patients. They noticed the following observations:
From 2007-2014, medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000%
Much of the increase in opioid dependence occurred since 2011, even though this period was marked by increased attention to the problem and a growing concern amongst advocates as they called on doctors to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions.
Younger patients (19-35 years) were most likely to be diagnosed as “opioid dependent” relative to other age groups. (Dependence is defined by symptoms such as increased tolerance, withdrawal or un…

New Device Helps Ease Difficulties of Drug Withdrawl

When someone is dependent on opioids, it's difficult to stop the drug and try a new form of treatment for a number of reasons:

1) There may be a fear that a different form of treatment will not work as well as current treatment.

2) Withdrawal from opioids can be a very uncomfortable process. This can include muscle aches, restlessness, anxiety, tearing of the eyes, sweating, insomnia, abdominal issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping), racing heart, and hypertension.  Knowing this in advance must surely be a deterrent to stopping these drugs!

3) The euphoria that some people experience when taking opioids will no longer be a part of life.

Some addiction medicine specialists use prescription drugs such as Subutex or Suboxone to treat patients who have used or abused opioids and need to stop.  The problem here is that these drugs will block the withdrawal symptoms but that's all.  The dependency problem is still there underneath it all. When I worked as a hospital pharmaci…