Considering the alarming number of nearly 70,000 deaths from opioid addiction in 2017- public health experts and scientists are looking for more measures to decrease this number. Part of their action being to assure that the clinics and rehab facilities are using the latest science to treat their patients.
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Considering the alarming number of nearly 70,000 deaths from opioid addiction in 2017, public health experts and scientists are looking for more measures to decrease this number. Part of their action is assuring that the clinics and rehab facilities are using the latest science to treat their patients.
One of the requirements of the program is to introduce medication-assisted treatments; such as naltrexone, which is known to curb the cravings and should make the withdrawal an easier process. Although it has been proven to help reduce the number of deaths caused by drugs and opioid addiction, it continues to be controversial. Many clinics still refuse to use it on their patients, instead recommending them to totally abstain from all kind of medication, while being guided by programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
According to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in 2011, only half of the private treatment programs offer access to medication for their patients, and from that number, only a third of them actually receive them, despite all the studies that show the benefits and effectiveness of this medication. "These treatments are life-saving and they work," said Sarah Wakeman, the medical director of the at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard, to Business Insider in April.
One of the reasons the number of medication-assisted treatments used for opioid addiction is very low is because although these medications provide important results and are even life-saving in some situations, they are very hard to obtain.
Generally, medication-assisted treatments have a bad reputation because they are still viewed as a replacement for the pills a person with an addiction used, and only encourages them to follow a repeated pattern of addiction. But this is not true at all because it has no scientific back-up, they curb the cravings and reduce the risk of relapse, creating another addiction not being among the effects.
Therefore, as part of this new program, treatment centers will be required to provide medication-assisted treatments, along with all the information needed. As a result, the center will receive a higher grade and its services will be classified as of a higher quality.
And the good news is that things are starting to change and improve. Physicians, social workers and other specialized persons are starting to promote and redirect attention to the benefits of medication-assisted treatments and how they are better that the abstinence-only ones. For more information, visit the original source at the Business Insider website.
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