Tag Archives: benzodiazepines

For many heroin addicts, treatment barriers remain

heroinspoonThe rise in heroin addiction across the nation, fueled by the prescription drug addiction epidemic, means that increasing numbers of people are in need of inpatient treatment services — but many who need help are contending with a shortage of services and constraints placed on care by insurance companies, according to this article.

Unlike withdrawal from dependencies on alcohol or benzodiazepines, heroin withdrawal isn’t life-threatening – but it is so horrific that many addicts are drawn back to the drug and overdose, the article notes. Because withdrawal is not directly deadly, most insurance companies won’t pay for inpatient rehab, either claiming that the addict does not meet the “criteria for medical necessity” — that inpatient care would be an inappropriate treatment — or requiring that the user first try outpatient rehab, the article says.

Of the 23.1 million Americans who needed treatment for drugs or alcohol in 2012, only 2.5 million people received care at a specialty facility, the article says, citing data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The number of people reporting heroin use in the previous year increased between 2007 and 2012, from 373,000 to 669,000, while nearly 80 percent of people who had used heroin in 2011 had also previously abused prescription painkillers classified as opioids.

Posted in Informational, Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pill addiction treatment admissions up by 569%: report

A new government report has found that treatment admissions for people addicted to both benzodiazepines and narcotic pain relievers jumped 569.7% between 2000 and 2010. According to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), overall substance abuse treatment admissions increased 4% during the same time period.

In 2010, 33,701 people received treatment for addiction to both medications, according to the report. Nearly 40% of those with this combined addiction began using both drugs in the same year, while about 34% first became addicted to narcotic pain relievers and 27% started with benzodiazepines.

In addition, almost half of patients treated for the combined addiction also had a psychiatric disorder, and people ages 18 to 34 represented 66.9% of those treated, the report found.

Posted in Informational, Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment