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Opioid Treatment Not Being Utilized Enough

According to researchers from Blue Cross Blue Shield, individuals “with an opioid use disorder diagnosis spiked 493 percent” – however, the medication-assisted addiction treatment grew by only 65 percent. The last few years have brought alarmingly high numbers of diagnosis of opioid addiction cases—increasing by 500% but many individuals still aren’t seeking for or getting the treatment they need to recover.

Other alarming facts about opioid abuse in the US include (www.seabrook.org),

  • Women 45 and older have higher rates of opioid abuse than men.
  • Overdose deaths for women due to prescription painkillers have jumped more than 400% while for men it has increased by 265%.
  • 10% of the 20.5 million Americans who have a substance abuse disorder are addicted to either pain relievers or heroin, according to the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine).
  • The use of medication-assisted treatment to combat opioid overdose (buprenorphine, naloxone and suboxone) was least common in the South and Midwest, where sadly, addiction rates were highest.
  • According to the CDC, at least 91 people die every single day in the U.S. from an opioid overdose.
  • The CDC also indicates that more people die from drug overdoses in the U.S. than guns or car accidents.
  • Most, (3 out of 4) heroin users start by abusing prescription drugs, according to the National Institutes of Health.

It is vital that individuals who have addictive tendencies or are concerned in any way about being prescribed opioids, talk with their physicians about the risks and dangers of treating pain with opioids.