This article was originally posted November 1, 2018 has been updated with 2021 and 2022 information.
Since November 2018, Dr. Papotto has offered a program called “Life in a Grinder”. This compassionate medically-assisted treatment plan is for those who are trying to break away from opioid addiction. With considerate diagnosis, patients can receive help and information via counseling sessions, area support groups, and monitored prescriptions of Suboxone. The goal is to help individuals break free from narcotic drug addiction with minimal withdrawal symptoms.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2021, nearly 107,000 people died of a drug overdose, with 75% of those deaths involving an opioid. The overall rise in overdose deaths is largely attributable to the proliferation in the drug supply of illicit fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid. An estimated 2.5 million people aged 18 and older had opioid use disorder in 2021, yet only 36% of them received any substance use treatment, and only 22% received medications for opioid use disorder.
In 2022, drug deaths nationwide hit a new record. 109,680 people died as the fentanyl crisis continued to deepen, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, death rates from overdoses have slowed down some recently, as treatment has been expanded to millions of Americans, as well as improved access to Naloxone to reverse overdoses. There is still more work to be done to help those dealing with addiction to opioids, and Suboxone helps many stay on the path to healing.
“Medications for opioid use disorder are safe and effective. They help sustain recovery and prevent overdose deaths,” said Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Failing to use safe and lifesaving medications is devastating for people denied evidence-based care. What’s more, it perpetuates opioid use disorder, prolongs the overdose crisis, and exacerbates health disparities in communities across the country.”
Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) South Carolina Opioid Summary, opioid overdose deaths in South Carolina increased proportionately with national rates. Deaths related to synthetic opioids (mainly Fentanyl – but include Morphine, and prescription pain killers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin) and heroin-related deaths have exacerbated this terrible epidemic and has affected countless communities and has devastated families.
Clinical trials of medication used to treat opioid addiction in young adults, participants who received counseling and Suboxone (buprenorphine-naloxone) for twelve weeks displayed substantially improved outcomes than those who received the standard treatment of short-term detoxification and some counseling.
Suboxone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002 for the treatment of opioid dependence and it is one of the first medications available for the treatment of opioid dependence that can be prescribed in a doctor’s office by specially trained and licensed physicians.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA website.
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