FDA Approves First Monthly Injection to Treat Opioid Addiction

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever buprenorphine injection for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients. The new injection is the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option, Sublocade, which provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery from opioid addiction who may value the benefits of a once-monthly injection, compared to other forms of buprenorphine treatment. MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines approved medications (currently, methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) with counseling and other behavioral therapies to help provide effective treatment and long-term recovery in patients with OUD. “Given the scale of the opioid crisis, with millions of Americans already affected, the FDA is committed to expanding access to treatments that can help people pursue lives of sobriety. Everyone who seeks treatment for opioid use disorder deserves the opportunity to be offered the treatment best suited to the needs of each individual patient,...
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Are Teens with Opioid Addiction Getting the Treatment They Need?

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Today’s opioid crisis knows no boundaries, especially when it comes to age. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that “prescription and over the counter drugs [including prescription opioids] are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders, after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.” Over the past 15 years, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to opioid poisoning has nearly doubled and it has been widely cited that most adults in treatment for opioid addiction started using illicit substances before the age of 18. These statistics make it clear that there is a need to effectively identify and treat addiction to opioids among young people in order to prevent the consequences of this disease from following them into adulthood, or worse — cutting their lives short. Unfortunately, young people are not receiving the opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment path most strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:...
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Patients Treated with Naloxone Continue to be at High Risk of Overdose: Study

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A new study finds 10 percent of people saved by the opioid overdose antidote naloxone die within a year of treatment. “Patients who survive opioid overdoses are by no means ‘out of the woods,'” lead study author Scott Weiner, MD, Director of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a news release. “These patients continue to be at high-risk for overdose and should be connected with additional resources such as counseling, treatment and buprenorphine.” The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians, found half of patients who died within a year of naloxone treatment died within one month of treatment, HealthDay reports.
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Study Highlights Unmet Treatment Needs Among Adults With Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

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Despite current treatment guidelines, fewer than 10 percent of adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders receive treatment for both disorders, and more than 50 percent do not receive treatment for either disorder. The findings highlight a large gap between the prevalence of co-occurring disorders and treatment rates among U.S. adults and the need to identify effective approaches to increasing treatment for those with these conditions. An analysis of data from U.S. adults with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder indicates that only 9.1 percent of those adults received both types of care over the past year, and 52.5 percent received neither mental health care nor substance use treatment. The study, based on data collected from the 2008-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reports that 3.3 percent of the adult U.S. population, or some 7.7 million individuals, suffers from both a mental...
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NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator Helps Find Quality Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

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Described as a “game-changer” by individuals in the alcohol treatment community! An important new online resource is now available to help people recognize and find high quality treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), which affects more than 15 million adults in the United States. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator helps individuals and their loved ones negotiate the often-complicated process of choosing treatment for alcohol misuse by telling them what they need to know, and what they need to do, to recognize and choose quality care. The landmark Navigator website is comprehensive, yet easy-to-use -- guiding users through a step-by-step process to find highly-qualified treatment professionals. It helps create informed consumers by describing AUD and the various treatment options available, explaining the importance of “evidence-based” practices, providing tips on how to recognize five signs of quality care, and recommending specific steps to find quality treatment, including 10 questions to ask potential...
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New Recommendations to Prevent and Treat Substance Use Disorders Issued

New Recommendations to Prevent and Treat Substance Use Disorders Issued
A comprehensive set of public policy recommendations for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders were recently issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine . Drug overdose deaths, particularly from opioids such as prescription pain relievers and heroin, is a rising epidemic. ACP says that substance use disorders are treatable chronic medical conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, that should be addressed through expansion of evidence-based public and individual health initiatives to prevent, treat, and promote recovery. However, access to care for substance use disorders is limited. In 2014, 22.5 million people in the U.S. needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but only 18 percent received any treatment, far below treatment receipt rates for those with hypertension (77 percent), diabetes (73 percent), or major depression (71 percent). According to  Medical News Today , in order to...
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Study Finds Patients Receiving Longer Treatment for Alcohol-Drug Misuse Have Significantly Higher Success Rate

Study Finds Patients Receiving Longer Treatment for Alcohol-Drug Misuse Have Significantly Higher Success Rate
A new study suggests that the longer patients are enrolled in treatment, the better chance they have of successful recovery after treatment. The study, published in the current issue of Open Journal of Psychiatry , followed 72 patients with a variety of addiction types over the course of a year. Patients were nearly divided evenly by gender with the mean average age about 30 years old. The patients were treated for a number of chemical dependencies, including alcohol, amphetamine, benzodiazepines and opioids. Those patients undergoing an industry standard 30-day treatment program exhibited a 54.7 percent treatment success rate after one year. In contrast, patients that participated in a treatment program lasting more than 30 days experienced a success rate of 84.2 percent. The study is significant, as most private and government insurance programs only reimburse the patient for 30 days of addiction treatment. “Aftercare is crucial once an individual has...
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Few Teens Treated for Opioid Addiction Get Medication-Assisted Treatment

Few Teens Treated for Opioid Addiction Get Medication-Assisted Treatment
Only 2.4 percent of teens in treatment for heroin addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, a new study finds. In contrast, 26.3 percent of adults received treatment with addiction medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, Reuters reports. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found only .4 percent of teens in treatment for prescription opioid addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, compared with 12 percent of adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises doctors to consider medication-assisted treatment for teens with severe opioid use disorders. “There’s more that needs to be done across the board to facilitate access to these treatments when they’re medically necessary,” lead researcher Kenneth Feder told Reuters. “The best validated treatment for somebody struggling with an opiate addiction is treatment that includes some sort of medication assistance.” The study appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health . Want to learn more about What Is Medication-Assisted Recovery? Click here.
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New Report: Reward with Prizes. Cut Alcohol and Tobacco Use

New Report: Reward with Prizes. Cut Alcohol and Tobacco Use
It would seem that offering prizes- - from simple shampoo to DVD players -- can be an effective, low-cost treatment for alcohol abuse, the nation's third leading preventable cause of death, suggests a new report. An article in Science Daily noted that researchers at Washington State University have shown that offering prizes -- from simple shampoo to DVD players -- can be an effective, low-cost treatment for alcohol abuse, the nation's third leading preventable cause of death. A surprise benefit of the treatment was that it decreased study participants' tobacco and drug use. Findings from the study, which appears in the current American Journal of Psychiatry , could expand treatment options for an estimated 15 million U.S. adults who abuse alcohol. The study followed 79 outpatients at a community mental health center in the Seattle area. About half received the 12-week rewards intervention, which offered small prizes for addiction treatment...
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Police Programs Focusing on Treatment Over Jail May Lose Support Under Trump

Police Programs Focusing on Treatment Over Jail May Lose Support Under Trump
Police organizations promoting an approach to opioids that emphasizes treatment over jail are concerned the incoming Trump Administration may focus on prosecution rather than treatment, Scientific American reports. So-called ANGEL programs, which started in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2015, have been expanded to hundreds of police departments nationwide. The Obama Administration has supported the programs, the article notes. Comments from Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee for Attorney General, indicate the incoming administration may focus first on reducing the supply of illegal drugs coming in from Mexico. In December, researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that between June 2015 and May 2016, 94.5 percent of the 376 people seeking help through Gloucester’s ANGEL program were offered placement in a detox or treatment program, and 89.7 percent enrolled. Lead researcher Davida Schiff of Boston Medical Center said in order for police-led treatment referral programs to be successful, more treatment facilities...
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