Medical City Healthcare - October 09, 2018

If you know someone who is struggling with opioid addiction, you may be wondering where to turn for help. The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions nationwide. Reported drug overdose deaths reached a record high of more than 70,000 in 2017, with the majority attributed to opioids such as prescription painkillers and heroin. Non-fatal opioid overdoses numbered many times higher, accounting for a 30% increase in ER visits from July 2016 through September 2017.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Nearly 80% of heroin users reported first misusing prescription opioids
  • More than 130 people die each day from opioid-related overdoses
  • There are 14,000+ substance abuse facilities in the U.S., including Medical City Green Oaks Hospital in Dallas

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.

Many substance abuse treatment facilities, including Medical City Green Oaks Hospital, use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for patients struggling with opioid addiction or abuse.

MAT is the use of medications approved by the FDA, used in combination with counseling and behavior therapies. It provides a holistic, €œwhole-patient€ approach to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. MAT can provide relief from withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings while helping patients overcome opioid addiction or abuse in a safe and controlled manner.

At Medical City Green Oaks Hospital, treatment is administered by licensed, board-certified psychiatrists trained in the use of SUBOXONE® and other therapies to reduce opioid dependency.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders.

Medication-assisted treatment has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services
  • Help sustain recovery
  • Contribute to lowering risk for contracting HIV, AIDS and viral hepatitis

For information and treatment referrals, call SAMHSA's 24-hour, free and confidential substance use hotline at (800) 662-4357.

How to spot opioid addiction or abuse.

If you're unsure how to spot possible opioid addiction or need strategies to help prevent potential opioid abuse, read The Growing Opioid Crisis: What You Need to Know.

Addressing the opioid crisis in North Texas.

In addition to providing leading-edge opioid addiction therapies such as MAT, Medical City Healthcare has initiated comprehensive overhauls to pain management and the use of potentially addictive medications.

Medical City Healthcare Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Miguel Benet, was part of a groundbreaking 2017 Opioid Safety Pilot, which reduced opioid administration at ten Colorado facilities by a stunning 36-percent. Medical City Healthcare is now employing many of those tactics in its 20 North Texas emergency rooms.

For example, multimodal pain control, where non-opiate medications or treatments are used to combat pain at its source, has proven successful for many patients. And, we are studying an innovative virtual platform for select patient populations, further advancing the creative use of technology in pain control. Also, pain prescriptions are now electronically delivered directly to the pharmacy, reducing the potential for counterfeit and duplicative scripts.

Patients in these programs are shown to have faster recovery, shorter hospital stays with fewer complications and increased satisfaction as a result. Anecdotally, patients also feel more engaged and invested in their own recovery.

If someone has overdosed, call 911 immediately.

For fast, emergency help in a crisis, look to one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.

Sign Up for the LifeSigns E-Newsletter

The post How to Get Help for Opioid Addiction appeared first on LifeSigns.