The treatment for addiction does not end when a patient completes his or her stay in a specialized treatment facility. Instead, it is a lifelong effort to adhere to sobriety, knowing that a simple slip or mistake is often enough for a former abuser of substances to spiral back into his or her drug abusing lifestyle. Therefore, medical practitioners and experts nowadays pay increased attention upon the integration of recovery management practices in the overall treatment. Despite the fact that there are increased chances of a relapse, a study of the data related to the American patients suggests that less than 17 percent of them received medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. Addiction treatment centers and related health care providers not only have the responsibility to reinstate the previous nondrug abusing state in the course of treatment in people with the problem of addiction, but they have to also empower them to appropriately deal with cravings and ensure control over their life. In addition, they also have the responsibility to impart coping mechanisms that allow a former user to identify triggers and cues that may seduce them toward drug abuse. That is the end goal, at least on paper. The above study led by Sarah Naeger, Ph.D., M.P.H., with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) tried understanding the patterns of post-discharge prescription fills among patients following opioid-related hospitalization.
Medications that manage opioid abuse symptoms underused
The first part of the study entailed over 35,000 individuals between 18 and 64 years of age who were hospitalized for opioid-related mishaps, such as misuse, overdose or addiction between 2010 and 2014. The researchers used the 2010-2014 MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database to analyze the details. The study highlighted that 35 percent of the participants did not have any prescription fills in the 30-day post-discharge period. It was also found that the medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), such as methadone, naltrexone and buprenorphine, can successfully stymie cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as bolster the treatment outcomes. The researchers also looked at the data of the number of prescriptions filled by patients in the 30-day period following their discharge. It was found that the most common classes of medications were antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and opioid pain medications. Some of the eye-opening results were as follows:
- 40 percent of the patients received antidepressants.
- 6 percent received antipsychotics.
- 9 percent filled a prescription for benzodiazepine.
- 4 percent filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication.
- 22 percent or over one in five patients were found to fill a prescription for an opioid painkiller in the 30 days following discharge.
Based on the above findings, the researchers concluded that more effort is necessary to make sure that patients hospitalized for opioid abuse are delivered the recommended aftercare services, such as approved medication and therapeutic services. In addition, the findings of the study provide an insight into the lapses in terms of accountability on the part of the health care providers to enforce aftercare services and behavioral patterns exhibited by patients that suggest a lack of awareness or interest in availing services related to aftercare.
Say no to drugs
There is a need for doctors and health care practitioners responsible for prescribing opioids to patients to have access to their medical records to understand the instances of treatment for opioid use. Besides assisting in the safe deliverance of prescription medications to the patients, this will also help them in avoiding any kind of cravings. If you or a loved one is suffering from prescription drug abuse, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline of California offers the best prescription drug addiction treatment in California that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-738-2770 or chat online with our medical advisers to know more about the drug addiction treatment centers in California.