Wait for Federally Funded Rehab Increases for People Addicted to Heroin

The wait for federally funded rehab is increasing as the number of people addicted to heroin grows, NBC News reports.

The wait can be as long as 18 months in Maine. People in Florida are waiting an average of one month for addiction treatment. A study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found only 11 percent of people with substance use disorders received help from treatment centers, the article notes.

Heroin abuse is rising across the United States, according to a government report released in July. The report found the strongest risk factor for a heroin use disorder is a prescription opioid use disorder. People addicted to opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be dependent on heroin.

The largest increase in heroin use is among women and white (non-Hispanic) Americans. Young adults and those with household incomes below $20,000 are most likely to use heroin. Most people who use heroin abuse multiple other substances, including opioid pain relievers and cocaine, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found.

More than half a million Americans used heroin in 2013, nearly a 150 percent increase since 2007. Heroin-involved overdose deaths almost doubled from 2011 to 2013. More than 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses that year.

In August, the Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, announced the federal government will provide $13.4 million in funding for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. Of that, $5 million will be directed to efforts to reduce the trafficking, distribution and use of heroin.

Half of the $5 million will fund the Heroin Response Strategy, a partnership between five regional programs in Appalachia, New England, Philadelphia/Camden, New York/New Jersey, and Washington/Baltimore, to address the severe heroin threat facing those communities.

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    September 8, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    This is a good thing, because ‘treatment’ is the number one correlate with morbidity. If you want to detox then head to your local hospital. Or you can do it on your own or under outpatient medical supervision, it’s really not a big deal despite what you see on tv and the movies and the stories they tell at NA. Speaking of which, avoid the 12 Step suicide bullying cults at all costs. They take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable. And most treatment centers are little more than 12 Step cult indoctrination. Well now you can understand why treatment is so deadly.

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    Skip Sviokla MD ABAM

    September 8, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Raising the cap on the number of buprenorphine pts a board certified addiction doctor can treat will cost nothing and expand treatment immediately.
    It is a no brainer.
    Skip Sviokla MD ABAM
    author “From Harvard to Hell…and Back”

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