Eight investigators from medical centers in the U.S. and Canada recently looked into methadone access in the U.S., and evaluated the current availability of methadone treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). The current situation within the U.S. wasn’t encouraging: In 2017, drug overdose deaths in the U.S.—most of them related to opioids—totaled 70,237. Yet … [Read more...] about Study Report: Pharmacy-Based Methadone Distribution
Here’s something most people in the field know: buprenorphine treatment lowers the risk of overdose and death in people with opioid use disorder (OUD). And here’s what many don’t know: most patients don’t remain in buprenorphine treatment long enough to benefit from it. Six months is the shortest time endorsed by the National Quality Forum, but most patients—50% to … [Read more...] about Buprenorphine Effectively Treats OUD, But Most Patients Quit Treatment Too Early—Risking Relapse, Overdose, and Other Potentially Fatal Events
The problem of methadone underuse isn’t new—but the authors of a recently published paper offer ways to fix the situation; ways that are both new and innovative. If broad regulatory changes aren’t going to happen, they say, the solution may be to empower private insurers to make methadone more accessible to patients by, for example, allowing it to be prescribed without the … [Read more...] about Study Favors Better Insurance Reimbursement for Methadone Maintenance
There’s no question that opioid use disorder (OUD) is extremely common in incarcerated people. And yet, this group rarely receives medication treatment for OUD (MOUD). Moreover: Each year, about one-third of people who have a heroin addiction are incarcerated This pool—this target population, easy to access—presents an opportunity to help many people who need … [Read more...] about Incarcerated People Are Entitled to Medications for Their OUD; So Why Aren’t They Getting Them?
The statistics tell the story: Rates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and its consequences continue to rise. Yet we have effective treatments: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. And data show that effective treatment reduces not only opioid use, but overdose deaths, and other consequences of opioid misuse. Moreover, we have opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that provide … [Read more...] about Report: Why OUD Statistics Continue to Worsen, and What OTPs Can Do to Help