More than ten years ago, buprenorphine hit the market with critical acclaim from government officials and treatment professionals alike. It was seen as a helpful tool to use for opiate withdrawal, but was then later pushed as a maintenance drug as well.
As the pandemic continues to make headlines, less attention is given to the rise in addiction-related deaths. The American Medical Association Advocacy Resource Center recently reported, “The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid- and other drug-related mortality
The intertwining of symptoms of chronic pain and substance abuse disorder are sometimes hard to separate. Both can create physical, social, emotional, and economic effects. People who have chronic pain, substance abuse disorder or both may have similar symptoms including insomnia, depression, and impaired functioning.
Any substance use while pregnant can harm the fetus, but of course the longer the substance use continues, the higher the risk becomes. Substance abuse treatment should start immediately if pregnancy occurs while addicted.
Opioid overdose deaths have declined slightly in the last few years, in part because of the availability of Naloxone. Commonly administered in emergency rooms or by first responders when an opioid overdose is suspected, Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose by attaching to opioid receptors, reversing and blocking the effects of other opioids in the system.
The fact that the United States is in the midst of an “Opioid Crisis” or an “Opioid Epidemic” is old news. Statistics are staggering when we look at the number of people who are addicted to opioids and the rising number of opioid deaths each year.
While the lead headline from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) touted “Marijuana use at historic highs among college-age adults,” the institute could have also released some positive headlines.
It’s National Recovery Month, and according to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s 2018 report, deaths caused by the lethal synthetic opioid have doubled in recent years.
A recently released report suggests that there will be an increased need for recovery services in the years ahead.
Over the past 15 years communities have been affected, families destroyed, and thousands of individuals have died during the ongoing opioid epidemic. In only six years, statistics show that the rate of overdose deaths doubled from 21,089 in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016.