With recent statistics showing that there were six times more opioid addicts in 2014 as compared to 2001, the situation is quickly getting to crisis levels. The problem is not only with regard to the number of young people who are getting into addiction at a much younger age, there is also a serious problem when it comes to treatment. Research shows that only a fourth of the young adults addicted to opioids receive the necessary treatment to help deal with their addictions. It is feared that there could be a large number of young people who are dying as a result of unattended addiction.
It is important for parents and guardians to know that there are medical treatment options available for opioid addicts. Many individuals who are addicted to opioids and their families are not aware of the existence of medication that is administered to help deal with opioid addictions. While a good number of treatment providers have not fully embraced the use of medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine to treat these addictions, experts encourage their use as they significantly increase the chances of full and sustained recovery from opioid addictions.
While there is a lack of sufficient treatment for opioid addicts across the board, there are some demographics that are more disadvantaged when it comes to accessing treatment. Women, black people and Hispanics are some of the groups that have less access to addiction treatments. This calls for greater awareness and action from medical professionals and especially doctors who have to prescribe opioids for medical reasons. Physicians need to be keen on ensuring that they only prescribe the necessary amounts of drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin and limit refills which have been identified as a genesis of addiction.
The economic impact of opioid addictions is continuously increasing in severity with millions of young people checking into medical facilities as both inpatients and outpatients seeking medical assistance for their addiction to opioids. The skyrocketing cost of providing treatment for all these young people along with the loss of productivity in each addict is a huge headache for all parties that are affected. The fact that there are many who need these opioids for medical reasons further complicates the situation and understanding the safe use of these drugs is an important aspect that will help in the management of this escalating crisis.
Naltrexone is an opioid treatment that is available under various brand names such as Vivitrol and is administered through injection on a 4 week cycle. This medication which averages at a cost of $1000 is only given for individuals who are 100% free from opioids. Another treatment applied in opioid addiction treatment is buprenorphine which is available in various brands such as Suboxone. This particular medication is administered daily in tablet for or other oral options and comes at an average cost of $100 for each month. Both treatments work to help opioid addicts by suppressing cravings as the patient goes through other lines of treatment.