Although widely opted for, detoxification may not be as effective to treat substance abuse as medication.
A new research suggests that substance-dependent individuals seeking assistance through expensive medical detoxification can perhaps benefit better with a combination of opioid medications like buprenorphine and methadone. Such medication allows substance dependent patients to slowly modify their body pattern.
This research does not claim these medications to be a permanent alternative. But compared to the method of medical detoxification, this comes with a saving of approximately $78-257. Moreover, it is psychologically easier than facing withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.
Today, more than 2.6 million residents of the USA suffer from opioid dependency. Claiming 91 lives each day, The US faces a tremendous challenge dealing with opiate addiction. And more than 80 percent of the drug addiction victims have been deprived of medication-based treatment.
California is currently the largest state found with the opiate addiction crisis. The health regulations still favor detoxification by not prescribing opioid agonist medication until the patient is proven to have gone through detoxification. This implies that a patient would have to pay for the detox prior to being insured for buprenorphine or methadone.
The latest improvisation in the law has added a provision that organizes an emergency alcohol and drug detoxification program under the administration of the Health Department.
The purpose of this program is to encourage health services to develop new ways of detoxification of drugs within a medical facility center after an overdose. Highlights of the bill include:
- This bill is sponsored by State Rep. Aaron Kaufer.
- It enables the Department of health to provide more proficient medical detox facilities, sharing the burden of the Department of Drug & Alcohol that was previously responsible for dealing with a substance based emergency. Additionally, the Department of Health has more resources, comparatively, says Kaufer.
- It is important to note that this law does not impose upon hospitals to spare beds for drug addiction emergencies, but only to become more efficient in easing the risks involved with overdose.
- This program will facilitate the basic facilities required by an individual for detox.
“ There obviously is economies of scale at a place like a hospital. Whether it is space or access that is important, is the important question. People are treated and sent back, while this initiative proposes a stay in the hospital till a facility center is found for them where they can effectively get treated for addition”
It is still unclear how the law will come into practice. It is new and will require a complete design of how things would work before it is implemented as a must. “Much of the responsibility will fall on the Department of Health to determine how this program will work” provides Nate Wardle, a spokesman for the health department.
It is hoped that the research would help the health centers perceive a better and more effective combination of detox and medication to cater to the needs of an opiate addict. In the current crisis, it is best if the state implies any law that promises better results.