Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones

Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones
A small number of consultants are advising families on treatment options for addiction, The New York Times reports. Their services can be very expensive. One service charges about $10,000 a year, while another charges $5,000 to $10,000 to set up an initial plan of care, and an additional $5,000 a month for close monitoring for six months. Addiction treatment itself can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month for residential treatment, the article notes. Even people with good insurance often find they face limits on how much the insurance will cover. People seeking addiction treatment often find referrals from their doctor or psychologist, along with personal recommendations. Consultants say they offer a broader and more objective selection of programs. In some cases, they recommend specific clinicians. Sam Dresser, a principal at Clere Consulting, said his company works with a person’s extended family for as long as two years to...
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Researchers Study Wearable Device to Track Drug Addiction Relapses

Researchers Study Wearable Device to Track Drug Addiction Relapses
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are testing a wearable device that may help track drug addiction relapses. The E4 Empatica wristband device measures temperature, heartbeat, motion and skin electrical conductance, according to Business Insider . The measurements are taken 30 times per second. Knowing the time addicts tend to relapse, and the effect the relapse has on their bodies, can help doctors improve their methods of intervention, according to researcher Stephanie Carreiro. She has led two studies on the device. Carreiro and colleagues are searching for physiological symptoms picked up by the device that may indicate a person is about to relapse. Once these symptoms are defined, the researchers say the device could be programmed so that when it picks up these symptoms, it will send an alert to a doctor or sponsor, who can reach out before the relapse occurs. “Substance abuse happens when patients are...
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43 Percent of Americans Say Relative or Close Friend Has Substance Use Issue

43 Percent of Americans Say Relative or Close Friend Has Substance Use Issue
A new poll finds 43 percent of Americans say they have a relative or close friend with a substance use issue, and 62 percent say at least one type of substance use is a serious problem in their community, the Associated Press reports. The national Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found seven in 10 Americans believe not enough is being done to find better addiction treatment or to make treatment programs more accessible. Sixty-one percent want to see more effort made to crack down on drug dealers. The poll found 61 percent of respondents said they support legalizing marijuana. One-third endorse legalization with no restrictions, while 43 percent say there should be restrictions on purchase amounts. One-quarter of those who support legalization only approve of its use when prescribed by a doctor. Only 21 percent of respondents said all or most doctors and dentists regularly prescribe painkillers...
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More Families Struggling With Addiction Find Help Through Online Support

More Families Struggling With Addiction Find Help Through Online Support
A growing number of family members of people struggling with addiction are finding help through online support groups, The Wall Street Journal reports. These groups offer flexibility and real-time help, participants say. Many parents say they look for support online because they are ashamed to discuss the problem with family or friends. The groups include small and informal groups, as well as large groups such as The Addict’s Mom, which has more than 70,000 members on Facebook. Some groups, such as Shatterproof, advocate for legislation to combat addiction. One group of six women with addicted children calls themselves Soul Sisters. They met online, and have been communicating largely through text messages for the past five years. The women have talked about signs of relapse, their children’s prison sentences and rehab centers. They have never met in person, but hope to this year. One member, Margaret Worthen of Raleigh, North Carolina,...
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New York Battles Opioid Epidemic by Requiring Electronic Prescribing

New York Battles Opioid Epidemic by Requiring Electronic Prescribing
New York has become the second state to require electronic prescribing, in an effort to combat the opioid addiction epidemic. Minnesota has required e-prescribing since 2011, Marketwatch reports. Only two other states – Massachusetts and Maine – are currently considering similar requirements, the article notes. Under New York’s new law, all prescriptions in the state must be issued electronically after late March. The effort is aimed at reducing forged prescriptions. Lawmakers hope the measure will also reinforce the state’s drug prescription monitoring system, which is designed to cut down on “doctor shopping” by patients seeking multiple prescriptions. Only 1.4 percent of providers nationwide were equipped to e-prescribe controlled substances, including opioid painkillers, in 2014, according to the electronic prescription network Surescripts. Doctors say implementing e-prescribing is both complicated and expensive. “E-prescribing in the right circumstances is fast, efficient and liked by patients and pharmacists and physicians. But there are many...
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Obama Administration to Spend $94 Million to Expand Drug Addiction Treatment

Obama Administration to Spend $94 Million to Expand Drug Addiction Treatment
The Obama Administration announced recently that it plans to spend $94 million to improve and expand delivery of substance abuse services in health centers. The funding will focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations. The funding will be distributed to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement. The funding will come from grants under the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reports. The money will allow treatment providers to hire about 800 people to work with almost 124,000 new patients. “The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” said Secretary Burwell. “Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment...
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NAATP Pioneers National Outcomes Study

NAATP Pioneers National Outcomes Study
Rigorous Study Will Provide Much Needed Industry Benchmarks The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) announced the addiction industry's new study to measure the efficacy of addiction treatment consisting of comprehensive national data. The study will track patient outcomes from multiple residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs. It will be conducted by NAATP, together with the research firm OMNI Institute and will provide unique cross-program comparison, compilation, and analysis. The research team will collect a large data sample of over 1000 patients, following outcomes from baseline to discharge and at five time points for one year after discharge from treatment. Outcome influences will be measured including detoxification process, patient engagement, medication, psychological and psychiatric care, education and addiction counseling received, peer and family support, economics, and twelve step activity. An initial draft of the study is expected in the second quarter of 2017. The data, derived from the instrument...
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Doctors Still Overprescribing Addictive Drugs Despite Warnings

Doctors Still Overprescribing Addictive Drugs Despite Warnings
Doctors who write many more prescriptions than their peers for potentially addictive drugs, such as opioids or stimulants, are not likely to reduce the number they write after they receive a warning from the government, a new study finds. The study looked at prescribers who were writing many more prescriptions for potentially addictive drugs than prescribers in similar specialties who practiced nearby, Reuters reports. “Even though we weren’t able to show that the letters were effective, this information is still useful for policymakers,” lead researcher Adam Sacarny of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University said in a news release. “Based on these results, we’re now experimenting with different letter designs and making other changes to see if another approach can yield reductions in overprescribing.” Sacarny told Reuters that previous research has found sending letters to doctors comparing them to their peers can encourage them to vaccinate their...
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Virtual Reality Tested for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Virtual Reality Tested for Heroin Addiction Treatment
Researchers at the University of Houston are testing whether virtual reality can be used to treat people addicted to heroin. They will navigate a simulated house party with stimuli that evoke drug cravings, according to Reuters . The virtual reality program includes two environments. One is a house party where heroin is snorted, and the other is a party where the drug is injected. The program uses an eight-camera infrared system. It projects life-sized 3-D avatars and environments. Participants interact with them in a chamber known as a “heroin cave,” the article notes. Details that could trigger a heroin craving include an open pizza box on the back patio, and cash on a table next to a cigarette lighter. “In traditional therapy we role-play with the patient but the context is all wrong,” said one of the study leaders, Patrick Bordnick. “They know they’re in a therapist’s office and the...
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Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction

Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction
The Senate voted against an amendment to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that would have added $600 million in funding. The bill would increase addiction treatment and prevention. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat. Senate Democrats said they will not block the legislation over funding, The Washington Post reports. Senate Republicans argue that there are potentially hundreds of millions available for CARA as part of the omnibus spending bill passed in late 2015, The Hill reports. Five Republicans voted along with Democrats on Wednesday for the additional funding for CARA. The Act is sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand prescription drug take-back programs and establish monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal...
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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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