Prescription and other types of opioid addiction now dominate the lives of millions of people. It is not something that we talk about, and as a result, very little research has been carried out when into comes to opioid addiction. However, that is set to change.
The Yale School of Medicine has been awarded $40 million in a variety of grants to study medication based treatment for American service veterans with opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is one of the most common health problems and cause of death in the United States.
Treating opioid addiction is a challenge for doctors and health care workers not only in the United States but also around the world. The UK is on the verge of what can only be called an opioid epidemic.
A huge variety of factors come into when it comes to opioid addiction. One of the major problems is getting to the root cause of why the person is using opioid drugs in the first place. Opioid drugs are available as both prescription and recreational drugs. The main cause for concern is that prescription opioid drugs seem to lead to recreational drug use when the user can’t any longer obtain the necessary prescriptions.
Is the way we are treating drug addiction currently the right way to treat this serious health problem? Perhaps we should be looking at it as a long term ongoing health issue and use alternative prescription drugs to control the crisis.
As opioid abuse appears to be more common than first thought, more research is required to see if we can deal with the crisis in a different way. For instance, private rehab clinics have for some time now been using a range of prescription drugs to treat opioid addiction. This method of “switching” drugs seem to be very successful as a treatment option. So far, the method has only been used in clinics.
The problem is that this is not really a sustainable solution. The opioid crisis is so widespread that other more generalised treatment plans must now be considered. This means moving drug treatment into society itself.
Buprenorphine has long been used to treat opioid addiction. It is one of the better alternatives available as it does not only deal with the addiction itself, it also helps to control some of the underlying conditions such as chronic pain. When you enter a private clinic suffering from opioid abuse, buprenorphine is now prescribed.
It is thought that under controlled conditions, it can eventually help addicts to control their abuse and even abstain from taking drugs. But, how effective is it when used outside of clinical conditions? This is just one of the many questions that the research team at Yale University is going to take a look at.
We know that Buprenorphine seems to have the ability to control a large number of problems with opioid abuse. But, the problem is that it does not seem to do so in all cases. A variety of controlled treatment options need to be developed. Limiting access to drugs seems to be essential. Trials are due to start in the United States to see if a monthly injection can help opioid sufferers.
The United States is not the only country in the world to take this kind of approach to opioid addiction. The Norwegian Health Service is also looking into long-term treatment for opioid addiction using Buprenorphine. It could be far more cost-effective to use as a treatment than trying to “force’ people to accept care in a clinic.
That being said, Buprenorphine can also be used in a clinic, and once a person has been discharged, it could become the go-to drug for long term rehabilitation needs. Retaining people in treatment is both costly and does not always offer the successful results.
This is another topic the team at Yale University is going to be taking a look at it during the extended research project. Maybe we will finally learn how to make treatment of opioid addiction far less complicated and turn treatment into a long term success at the same time.
If you do think that you are suffering from opioid addiction, get in touch with your local health care provider, but remember the answer could be found in the private sector.