Doctors Widely Support Anti-Addiction Medication. So Why Aren’t Patients At Treatment Facilities Getting It?
There are multiple reasons that only about 15% of patients receive drugs to help them overcome their addiction, but experts say a prominent one is rooted in outdated beliefs about treatment. "Medications are also rejected in part because they have been stigmatized as not being truly 'clean' or 'trading one addiction for another,' which is a false representation of the role of medications for opioid use disorder treatment," said Dr. Michael Barnett, a researcher at the Harvard.
Few U.S. Residential Drug Rehabs Give Anti-Addiction Medicine
Most people who check in to residential treatment facilities to recover from opioid use disorder won't be given medicines proven to help combat addiction, a U.S. study suggests. Doctors widely agree that the most effective treatment for opioid abuse includes anti-addiction medicines like naltrexone, buprenorphine or methadone. But only 15% of patients in residential drug treatment centers got these medicines in 2015, the study found. (Rapaport, 2/20)
In other news on the opioid crisis —
McKesson Dangles $1 Billion Legal Fund To Boost Opioid Deal
McKesson Corp. and two other opioid distributors have sweetened a settlement offer by proposing to pay more than $1 billion in legal fees for states, cities and counties suing them over their handling of the highly addictive painkillers, according to people familiar with the talks. McKesson, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. say the proposal would free up money for treatment and other social services strained by the U.S. opioid crisis, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly. (Feeley, 2/20)
Kaiser Health News:
Listen: Missouri Efforts Show How Hard It Is To Treat Pain Without Opioids
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber speaks with KBIA’s Sebastián Martínez Valdivia about the challenges Missouri faces in trying to treat chronic pain without opioids. Weber had reported that only about 500 of Missouri’s roughly 330,000 adult Medicaid beneficiaries used a new, alternative pain management plan to stem opioid overprescribing in the program’s first nine months. Meanwhile, 109,610 Missouri Medicaid patients received opioid prescriptions last year. (2/20)