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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New Technology Aims to Improve Buprenorphine Treatment in Young Adults

New Technology Aims to Improve Buprenorphine Treatment in Young Adults
When addiction treatment specialist Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD, found that young adults taking buprenorphine to treat their opioid addiction often stopped using the medication, he began looking for a novel way to address the problem. He is now testing an integrated mobile system that incorporates smartphone videoconferencing and a secure electronic medicine dispenser to allow young adults to take their daily buprenorphine at home, under remote supervision of a recovery coach. The system, called “ MySafeRx ,” allows a person taking buprenorphine at home to have a daily videoconference with a mobile recovery coach. After a recovery check-in, the coach uses the MySafeRx Android smartphone app, which has been designed to interface with the Medicasafe pill dispenser, to request a unique access code, which the coach releases through the app to the participant’s smartphone. The participant enters the code into the medicine dispenser, which then releases that day’s buprenorphine dose. By...
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Many Parents Keep Children’s Leftover Prescription Opioids at Home

Many Parents Keep Children’s Leftover Prescription Opioids at Home
Almost half of parents whose child had unused prescription opioid painkillers left over from a surgery or illness keep the medication at home, a new poll finds. Parents who have a discussion with their child’s doctor about how to properly dispose of the medication are much more likely to do so, the poll found. Researchers from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, polled nearly 1,200 parents with at least one child ages 5 to 17. They found about one-third of parents said their children had received pain medication prescriptions, mostly for opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, HealthDay reports. Only 8 percent of parents said they returned the unused medication to a pharmacy or doctor, while 30 percent disposed of the drugs in the trash or toilet, and 6 percent said other family members used the medication. Nine percent said they didn’t remember where the medications went....
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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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