Criminal Justice System Could Play Key Role in Better Treatment for Opioid Addiction

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A new study published in the December issue of Health Affairs , found that just 5 percent of people referred for opioid addiction treatment by the U.S. criminal justice system receive the best treatment, according to HealthDay . In contrast, the study found that 40 percent of people referred for opioid addiction treatment by other sources – including health care providers, employers or themselves – were treated with medication. Medications such as methadone and buprenorphine are considered the most effective way to treat opioid addiction, said researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They help control withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can lead to relapse and they reduce the risk for overdose. The low rate of referrals for treatment medication among people in the criminal justice system highlights a missed opportunity to connect the people at the highest risk for opioid addiction with effective treatment, the researchers...
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Insurance Barriers to Addiction Medication Putting People at Risk of Death

Insurance Barriers to Addiction Medication Putting People at Risk of Death
Addiction doctors say insurance barriers to opioid addiction treatment are putting people’s lives at risk, USA Today reports. “The fact that you have to fight with these insurance companies and jump through a thousand different hoops – it can be a matter of life and death,” said Kaitlyn Mishlen, research clinician at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. A new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics and the Advocates for Opioid Recovery found that of the 10 states with the highest prescription opioid use relative to their population, eight states have a lower than national average level of Medicaid funding for buprenorphine use. The study found patient access to – and reimbursement for – buprenorphine medications used in addiction recovery programs varies widely across states and “suggests inconsistent and suboptimal approaches in many parts of the country.”
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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