Many insurance companies require patients who have been prescribed the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone to get prior authorization, NPR reports. This requirement can take days or weeks, leaving patients vulnerable to relapse, one expert says.
Critics of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone say the treatment encourages repeated drug use, according to The New York Times. Many people overdose more than once, sometimes many times, and naloxone brings them back each time.
A new study finds people addicted to opioids who are treated with the newly approved implanted form of buprenorphine are more likely to maintain abstinence after six months, compared with those taking the pill form of the treatment.
Doctors who in the past were only allowed to treat 100 patients at a time with the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine will now be able to treat up to 275 patients, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell announced.
Doctors say they are finding it challenging to add the newly approved addiction treatment medicine Probuphine to their practice, WBEZ reports. They say they have to learn how to implant the drug in the upper arm of patients. They must also deal with new requirements.
The drug naloxone reverses overdoses, but it needs to be used as a tool — not treatment – in saving lives, much like a defibrillator for the heart attack victim. We need more effective ways to save people from drug overdoses, explains Karen Perry, Executive Director of the NOPE Task Force.
Georgia has put a one-year moratorium on issuing licenses to clinics that use medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, NPR reports. Legislators say Georgia put a cap on the number of clinics because it wants to determine why so many opioid treatment programs have opened in the state.
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.
The overdose antidote naloxone is becoming easier to buy around the country, the Associated Press reports. Most states have passed laws allowing people to buy naloxone without a prescription. Drugstores and other retailers are also making it more easily available.
A group of senators is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to raise the number of patients a doctor can treat with the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine to 500, The Huffington Post reports.
A New Jersey program immediately connects people to treatment after they have been revived from an opioid overdose with naloxone. Recovery specialists are contacted by hospitals participating in the program once an opioid overdose call has been dispatched.
Opioid addiction treatment experts say although the evidence is clear that medication-assisted treatment is the best way to tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic, there is still a stigma attached to using these medications.
Most jails and prisons do not provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Experts tell NPR that for inmates who are forced to detox from methadone, tolerance for opioids decreases, while cravings increase. This raises their risk of overdose after they are released.
The news that Prince was rescued from an overdose of the painkiller Percocet with the drug naloxone six days before he died underscores the challenge of using the life-saving tool, public health experts tell The Wall Street Journal.