“The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of opioid abuse. However, new research suggests that drugs that help addicts kick their habit after hospitalization are too seldom used.
“Given the high rates at which follow-up services are not provided,” the fact that many opioid abusers don’t get anti-addiction meds is a “concern,” says a team led by Sarah Naeger of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Often, addicts who overdose or encounter other drug-related issues are hospitalized. Current post-discharge recommendations include the receipt of medicines such as buprenorphine, naltrexone and methadone, to help the patient kick the opioid habit.
But how often do these medicines actually make it to patients? To find out, Naegar’s team examined data on more than 35,000 U.S. adults under the age of 65. All were hospitalized for opioid abuse, dependence or overdose between 2010 and 2014.
In the month after leaving hospital, less than 17 percent of patients received a medication for opioid use disorder, the study found.”
The research abstract can be accessed at: http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ps.201500538?journalCode=ps
Source: CBSNews.com – June 3, 2016