What is the Opioid Crisis?
We’ve all heard it over the last year, the phrase “opioid crisis” has cropped up in the news, on the radio and in most doctors’ offices, but what is the opioid crisis? The epidemic of addiction, overdose, and death from misuse of prescribed opiate medications and heroin has increased tenfold since the early nineties. A staggering 115 people die every day from opioid abuse. Statistics show that up to 29% of patients prescribed opiate medications for legitimate pain misuse them. An estimated 6% of patients who misuse their prescription pain medications make the transition to heroin.
What does this Mean for You?
If you are a patient who takes pain medications regularly, you may have to consider other pain management options with your provider. Insurance companies such as Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, and many more, are restricting access to pain medications for all their clients, not just those who are at high-risk of abusing the prescriptions. Many have implemented strict guidelines to access medications. Some insurance companies will only agree to cover abuse-deterrent medications or none at all.
While there are many options for support or counseling based addiction treatment, such as one-on-one or group therapy. Hundreds of programs are cropping up all over the united states and there are many here in Idaho. Comprehensive programs that can treat addiction on several levels have proven to be effective, having medication, counseling, and peer support is one of the best ways to beat addiction. What medication helps with addiction to opiates? The three medications approved to treat opiate addiction are suboxone, methadone, and naltrexone. See the table below for more information on each of these medications.
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