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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.

02-08 Medications to treat opioid addiction after discharge from treatment

Posted in Drug addiction, Prescription drug abuse by Rachael - 0 Comments
Medications to treat opioid addiction after discharge from treatment

In the recent years, there has been a startling rise in prescription drug abuse. A significant increase has been reported in admissions to addiction treatment programs to combat the effects of prescription abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 48 million individuals (20 percent of the American population aged 12 years or older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in their lifetime.

Prescription drugs that are commonly abused include opioid painkillers such as Vicodin or Oxycontin; stimulants such as Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium or Xanax for treating anxiety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 183,000 people have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids in the United States between 1999 and 2015. Treatment for opioid addiction includes non-addictive medications to counteract its symptoms. Some of the drugs used to treat opioid withdrawal are:

  1. Buprenorphine with naloxone to prevent relapse
  2. Probuphine for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence following detoxification
  3. Methadone and blood pressure medicine clonidine
  4. Naltrexone is used as a means to block the effects of opioids and prevent relapse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three drugs — methadone naltrexone and buprenorphine — to treat opioid dependence and opioid misuse. These drugs provide relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms, reduce the chances of relapse and ensure treatment adherence.

Medications to treat opioid abuse underused

Researchers affiliated with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) examined prescription data involving more than 35,000 individuals aged between 18 and 64 years who had been hospitalized for opioid abuse, dependence, or overdose between 2010 and 2014. The study was published online in the journal Psychiatric Services in Advance.

The researchers investigated the prescription filled in the 30 days following discharge for the three FDA-approved medications along with four other classes of medications namely antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and opioid pain relievers. The analysis of data on U.S. patients who had received an opioid-related inpatient hospitalization produced the following results:

  1. Less than 17 percent received FDA-approved drugs for opioid use disorder in the 30 days after discharge.
  2. 22 percent filled an opioid painkiller prescription during the same time.
  3. Antidepressants were the most commonly filled prescription by patients at 40 percent.
  4. Antipsychotic prescription was filled by 16 percent of the patients.
  5. Benzodiazepines were filled by 14 percent of the patients.
  6. More than 7 percent of the patients in the sample filled prescription for a benzodiazepine and an opioid pain medication.

The combination of opioid pain medication and benzodiazepine increases the risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening problems. The researchers contemplated that the doctors might not have known about the patients’ hospitalization as they continued prescribing opioid painkillers to them. According to the researchers, more effort is required so that patients hospitalized due to opioid misuse continue to receive approved services along with approved medication.

Scope of recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, it is important to seek help. The treatment for prescription drug addiction involves a combination of diagnosis, medications, experiential therapies and recovery management. Contact the Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline that will connect you to one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 922-5915to know more about prescription abuse treatment centers in Colorado. You can also chat online with our medical representatives to know more about drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado.