Researchers Identify A Key Medication In The Treatment Of Opioid Addiction

Treatment Of Opioid Addiction Researchers Identify A Key Medication | The Lifesciences Magazine

Researchers’ latest study reveals that residential rehab facilities for adolescent opioid addiction do not provide a necessary medication that is “life-saving” and “most effective” in treating the illness. There are several therapies utilised in rehab clinics to help people overcome their opioid addiction, such as art therapy or horse therapy, but just one in four of them offer or are even aware of buprenorphine.

“Buprenorphine, typically a small pill or film that dissolves under the tongue, is a life-saving drug for the treatment of opioid addiction, and it just so happens to be the only one that’s FDA approved for people 16 and older,” said Dr. Todd Korthuis, one of the study’s authors and a professor of medicine and the head of addiction medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. “It’s clearly the gold standard for treatment,” he added.

The study was released in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday. According to the survey, live-in recovery programmes can cost anywhere from $5,000 and more than $17,000, and the majority demand upfront payment. 9.2 million persons aged 12 and older, including users of the extraordinarily strong opioid fentanyl, reported misusing opioids in the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Additionally, from 2019 to 2021, the number of fatal fentanyl overdoses in youth aged 10 to 19 rose by 182%. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s director, Dr. Nora Volkow, said: “The risk of mortality is very high, but we know that one of the best interventions for preventing those overdoses is the administration of buprenorphine.”

The research team found 354 clinics across the country, and only 160 of them treated teenagers. Others were by themselves, while some were connected to hospitals. “We focused on residential treatment programmes because these are typically the settings that care for children with the most severe opioid addiction,” said Korthuis.

The study’s principal investigator was Caroline King, a Yale University resident in emergency medicine. Only 39 clinics, or 29%, included buprenorphine in their treatment regimen. “I had no idea that finding a treatment programme for buprenorphine was so challenging. This essay presents a rather bleak picture. Said Volkow. Some of the facilities even gave a “what’s that” response when asked about the medicine.

Understanding Opioid Addiction Treatment and Types of Medications

Important Information Regarding Buprenorphine

It enables the brain to sort of reset so that teenagers may concentrate on their recuperation, schoolwork, and other daily activities, according to Korthuis. Previously, it was challenging to focus on anything but the upcoming fentanyl injection.The medication can be used off-label in younger children and is permitted for usage from the age of 16 and up.

According to the research, several recovery centres were unaware that this medicine was a possibility. It is “mind-boggling that so many programmes that treat adolescents don’t offer buprenorphine,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, head of the Division of Addiction Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“The way we think about opioid addiction has been under transition from something that is a bad behaviour or a moral failing to a more accurate understanding of a medical condition,” she said. “I think that that transition is happening, but it’s not reflected everywhere.”

Read More: A New Study Shows Insomnia Drug’s Potential to be Effective in Treatment for an Opioid use Disorder

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