Fire can be used to fight forest fires, although with a certain amount of risk. A controlled burn of a strip of forest will create a barrier to an oncoming forest fire as it will use up all the available fuel. Wild-land firefighters use this tactic to control large forest fires. Removing the fuel will contain and control the burn. Using that logic, health officials are fighting fire with fire by increasing the availability of an opioid to combat the rising opioid epidemic ravaging America today. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 650,00 opioid prescriptions are dispensed daily. Of these, 3,900 people begin using the drugs for nonmedical reasons, and 78 people die from an opioid-related overdose every day. In an effort to fight the opioid epidemic, The Senate and House has recently passed the CARA bill, which would allocate federal funding to addiction recovery. The White House has also requested $1.1 billion to help people get the drug treatment they need. Both plans include expanding the number of physicians who can prescribe an opioid that’s used to treat opioid addiction when administered in large doses. This is referred to as Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT). Studies have shown that people who use medicated assisted treatment have a much higher success rate of finally ridding themselves of their addiction. Medication like buprenorphine or methadone were included in this study. Prescribers urge the importance to couple medication assistance treatment with group behavioral therapy. The the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) changed its rules to allow individual physicians to personally oversee the use of buprenorphine for 275 patients at a time. The doctors must be federally certified to prescribe the drug. Previously, a doctor was only allowed to prescribe buprenorphine to 100 patients. Before the last rule change in 2006, a physician could prescribe the drug to only 30 patients.
Other Drug Assisted Treatment Programs.
Naltrexone is a medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorders. It comes in a pill and injectable from. The injectable form of the drug called Vivitrol is administered once a month. Naltrexone can be prescribed by any health care provider who is licensed to prescribe medications. Naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. It works differently in the body than buprenorphine and methadone, which activate opioid receptors in the body that suppress cravings. Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, and is reported to reduce opioid cravings. There is no abuse and diversion potential with naltrexone. If a user of Vivitrol relapse on opioids, the drug prevents the feeling of getting high. Patients on naltrexone may have reduced tolerance to opioids and may be unaware of their potential sensitivity to the same, or lower, doses of opioids that they used to take. If patients who are treated with naltrexone relapse after a period of abstinence, it is possible that the dosage of opioid that was previously used may have life-threatening consequences, including respiratory arrest and circulatory collapse.
If you or a loved one is seeking help for a drug addiction problem or opioid use disorder, Contact Hill Country Detox Today.