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HomeHealth & FitnessAfter years of overdose epidemic across the country, many opioid addicts remain...

After years of overdose epidemic across the country, many opioid addicts remain untreated

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Although the overdose crisis makes treatment possible Over the past decade, many people with opioid use disorder have not received medication to treat their addiction, a new study finds.

The disjointed nature of data collection around addiction means it is difficult to estimate the true extent of the treatment gap in the United States.

The study, conducted by researchers at New York University, Columbia University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looks at Estimated number of people with opioid use disorder nationwide and compared it to the number of people receiving medication (buprenorphine or methadone). Both opioids were shown to help sustain a longer-lasting recovery than quitting cold turkey.

Methadone is strictly regulated by the federal government and is usually distributed through specially designated clinics. People usually have to report daily liquid doses of methadone to their clinic. Buprenorphine is an oral pill that must be prescribed by a specially licensed doctor, but can be taken at home.

Data on how many people use drugs to treat opioids, says Noa Krawczyk, assistant professor in the NYU Grossman Department of Population Health Substance use disorder is scattered across different databases, estimating how many people in the U.S. are struggling with opioid addiction more difficult. School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “We have to rely on a lot of disjointed data,” she said.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a study on adult Federal research on addiction rates is home-based—meaning people who are incarcerated or living on the streets, who have high rates of addiction, are likely to be missed.

And because drug use is criminalized, and the stigma surrounding addiction remains high, even with investigator exposure Those who arrive may also not say they have opioid use disorder, Krawczyk said.

To more accurately estimate the extent of opioid addiction in the United States, Krawczyk and other researchers referenced the Massachusetts 2018 A more comprehensive study estimated that the state’s opioid addiction rate was almost 4.5 times the federal estimate. Applying the multiplier nationwide, Krawczyk said, the data shows that about 86 percent of people with opioid use disorder may not be on medication.

In Pennsylvania, 78% of people with opioid use disorder are not taking medication, according to adjusted estimates; Krawczyk says , in New Jersey, the gap is estimated at 89%. Far fewer Americans are addicted to opioids — there are still a significant number of opioid-addicted Americans who are not on medication, about 40 percent.

“Even under the best of circumstances, we are still missing a large portion of the population with opioid use disorder, “Krawczyk said. “We don’t need to know exactly what the gap is to know that there is a gap, but it is important to understand the magnitude of the problem.”

There are many barriers that keep people from using methadone and buprenorphine to treat their addictions — from strict federal regulations on the drugs themselves to local zoning law clinics that make it difficult to open new methadone. While the study found that access to treatment in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 2010, overdose rates have also risen steadily since then — a sign that too many people are still not getting the help they need.

Study authors highlight the need to increase methadone coverage, encourage more physicians to prescribe buprenorphine, and reduce Stigma against addiction.

“Part of the motivation for this is to scream that we’re not even getting better at how we solve this problem” Crowe Chick said. “One of the sad things about the story is that we do know a lot of ways to fix this.”

2022 Annual Philadelphia Inquirer LLC. Issued by Forum Content Agency LLC.

Citation : Years after a nationwide overdose epidemic, many opioid addicts remain untreated (August 26, 2022), 2022 Retrieved September 5, 2022 from

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