Too Few Folks Handled for Opioid Use Get Anti-Overdose Med

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News Picture: Too Few People Treated for Opioid Use Get Anti-Overdose Med

FRIDAY, Could 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

A probably lifesaving drug that reduces overdose threat is prescribed to lower than half of Individuals handled for opioid addiction, a brand new research finds.

This underuse of buprenorphine is “equal to giving these with superior cancer a much less aggressive therapy,” mentioned senior investigator Dr. Laura Bierut. She is a professor of psychiatry at Washington College Faculty of Drugs in St. Louis.

“It appears apparent to many people that we needs to be giving probably the most aggressive and efficient therapies to those that are most significantly ailing,” Bierut added in a college information launch.

For the research, Bierut and her colleagues analyzed medical insurance knowledge on about 180,000 individuals nationwide handled for opioid use disorder from 2011 to 2016. Solely 47% of them have been prescribed buprenorphine, and the speed was even decrease (about 30%) for opioid customers who additionally misuse different substances equivalent to alcohol, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines or cocaine.

The research was revealed on-line Could 10 in JAMA Network Open.

“It is regarding that almost all of individuals misusing a number of substances do not look like getting the lifesaving treatment they actually need,” mentioned research co-author Dr. Kevin Xu, a resident doctor within the college’s psychiatry division.

“Whereas the info we analyzed predates COVID-19, the pandemic saw an escalation in overdoses, but we’re nonetheless not seeing many eligible sufferers get buprenorphine prescriptions,” Xu famous.

The information the researchers analyzed are a number of years outdated, Bierut mentioned. “However we expect this info will be extrapolated to what’s taking place now as a result of much more individuals utilizing opioids — or utilizing opioids in addition to different substances — are displaying up in emergency departments at present. The issue has solely gotten worse in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

Practically 107,000 individuals in the US died of drug overdoses from early 2021 by early 2022, in contrast with 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

There are a variety of attainable causes for the low price of buprenorphine prescriptions amongst individuals handled for opioid addiction, based on Xu.

Buprenorphine itself is an opioid, which can make medical doctors hesitant to prescribe it to individuals with opioid habit. Buprenorphine will be taken at residence and doesn’t require day by day journeys to a clinic, however that lack of supervision might additionally have an effect on selections about prescribing it. Another excuse could also be inadequate knowledge in regards to the drug’s effectiveness in those that misuse a number of substances.

However such considerations look like unfounded, Xu mentioned.

“Buprenorphine seems to be a secure opioid,” he famous. “It is particularly designed to be completely different from different opioid drugs in that it will not trigger a person to cease breathing, which just about each different kind of opioid will do. Meaning it may be taken safely at residence, which may be very useful, even important, to restoration.”

Extra info

There’s extra on opioid habit on the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCE: Washington College Faculty of Drugs, information launch, Could 10, 2022

By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


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