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. The U.S. appears to be on track to eclipse that number in 2020, according to the CDC, as people feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 40 states have reported an increase in opioid-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the American Medical Association.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that:

  • 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018
  • Nearly 80% of heroin users reported first misusing prescription opioids
  • There are 14,000+ substance abuse facilities in the U.S., including Medical City Green Oaks Hospital in Dallas
  • 1.27 million Americans are now receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

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, "whole-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.

Medical City Green Oaks offers inpatient psychiatric care and multiple outpatient programs in North Texas. Call (972) 770-0818 anytime.

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 employs many safe pain medicine prescribing practices in its North Texas hospitals and emergency rooms, including:

  • HCA Healthcare’s Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR) multi-modal pain management, which has demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and significantly decreased opioid use and opioid prescriptions
  • Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room (ALTO in the ER), which helps to manage painful conditions for emergency department patients with alternative medications like ketamine and lidocaine and return them to a maximum quality of life, thereby recognizing and reducing the inherent risks of administering and prescribing highly addictive medications like opioids
  • Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS), which seeks to stem increasing rates of opioid-related addiction, misuse diversion and death by making it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop and alter prescriptions
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), an electronic database (by state) that tracks all controlled substance prescriptions
  • Drug Take Back Program at 12 Medical City Healthcare hospitals, with conveniently located drug take back boxes that enable North Texans to safely and anonymously remove prescription opioids and other medications from their homes where the drugs are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens
    • The drug take back boxes are compliant with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations and may be accessed, free of charge, any day of the year

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.

For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online.

Revised 10/7/2020

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