We are currently facing one of the deadliest drug epidemics in history. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids has quadrupled, resulting in the deaths of more than 15,000 Americans each year.
As a result, we’ve invested heavily in research and addiction prevention programs to help curb the opioid epidemic. And, researchers may have discovered yet another tool that can be used to prevent more lives from being lost.
In a study recently published in the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal), scientists found that among opioid users, individuals who also used benzodiazepines at the same time were twice as likely to visit the emergency room for a drug overdose.
Researchers reviewed the medical history of 320,000 patients and compared the outcomes of individuals who were only prescribed opioids and patients who were concurrently prescribed a benzodiazepine such as Xanax or Valium. They found that individuals taking both medications were substantially more likely to suffer from a drug overdose.
“Even if we didn’t change opioid prescribing at all, the data here suggest that we could cut overdoses dramatically just [by] getting prescribers to not put people on a benzodiazepine at the same time,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford University and one of the lead authors of the study.
Researchers also discovered yet another troubling trend within the data. The use of opioids and benzodiazepines posed a significant health risk, yet the rate of patients being prescribed both is increasing. Among the pool of patients that they studied, the rate of concurrent prescriptions increased by 89 percent.
While additional research is needed, clinicians and policymakers could use these findings to help curb the current rate of overdose deaths by adopting new guidelines for prescribing opioids and medications designed to help treat anxiety and panic disorder. In addition, this research suggests that clinicians should not only exercise caution when prescribing opioids, but may also consider holistic alternatives to treat chronic pain.
If you are struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids, our inpatient addiction recovery services can help you heal while also strengthening your relationship with Christ. At Christian Rehab Network, we use a combination of therapies and spiritual lessons from the Bible to help clients start to rebuild their life. To begin the healing process, contact us today at (877) 310-9545.
Due to the dramatic and widespread increase in opioid addiction, the scientific community has responded by investing in new therapies to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal and treatments designed to address addiction issues.
In addition to that good work, some researchers are also asking that we spend time investigating the underpinnings of addiction. Specifically, they suggest that we should learn more about the basic biology of pain and how precision medicine can help us predict how patients will respond to certain prescription painkillers.
In an article published recently in the journal Science, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania recommend that we adopt a paradigm shift. Instead of solely focusing on treatment methodologies, we should also go back to the basics and investigate the nature of pain and how people differ in their response to various pain medications. Armed with this information, clinicians can administer prescription painkillers more precisely and reduce the risk of triggering an addiction.
"Pain is a syndrome that is poorly understood and research on pain is poorly resourced relative to its prevalence and cost, especially in terms of shattered lives and lost productivity," writes Tilo Grosser, MD, one of the lead authors and an associate professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.
To tackle the opioid epidemic, the researchers suggest that we employ a broader strategy. Specifically, addiction research should help us better understand the physiology of pain. They recommend that additional studies should investigate how and why individuals respond differently to pain. And, the researchers also suggest that more can be learned by exploring the difference between inflammatory and neuropathic pain, the heritability of pain awareness and the spectrum of acute and chronic pain.
By investigating the biology and mechanics of pain, we can help to prevent addiction before it occurs. At Christian Rehab Network, it’s encouraging that more scientists are recognizing the need to develop safer and less addictive treatment therapies for pain. Let’s keep this positive momentum going.
If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, our compassionate staff is here to help. At Christian Rehab Network, we can help verify your insurance coverage and benefits and ensure you get connected with the right center that specializes in addressing your specific needs. And, we can take care of all the paperwork so you don’t have to during a time of crisis. Let us help you find the best drug or alcohol rehab center to meet your individual needs. Contact us today at (877) 310-9545.
There is a lot of good work being done to combat the opioid epidemic. Educators are helping medical students better understand the signs and symptoms of abuse, clinicians are advocating for more holistic pain management methods and state agencies are compiling prescription registries to combat the practice of “doctor shopping”.
In this same vein, one of the most promising advancements in research has somewhat surprising roots. In the Caribbean Sea, actually.
Scientists at the University of Utah have discovered a compound, derived from a tiny snail, that blocks pain but avoids the addictive pathways of traditional opioids.
Researchers studied the Conus regius species, a small marine cone snail whose venom packs quite a punch, capable of paralyzing and killing its prey. But, it also has one curious side-effect. The venom produced by this tiny snail may actually have therapeutic applications. Specifically, it can help relieve pain but without the addictive qualities of traditional opioids.
Researchers published their findings in a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this article, the lead authors of the study assert that Rg1A (derived from the snail) acts on a pain pathway in a different way than standard opioid drugs. This pathway adds to the small number of nonopioid-based pathways that could be explored to treat chronic pain.
"What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention," said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah Health Sciences. "Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offer a new therapy to patients who have run out of options."
"RgIA4 works by an entirely new pathway, which opens the door for new opportunities to treat pain," said McIntosh. "We feel that drugs that work by this pathway may reduce burden of opioid use."
Chronic and debilitating pain is a harsh reality for many Americans. But, we can reduce their risk of developing an addiction to prescription painkillers with more advanced treatments that are engineered to bypass addictive pathways. At Christian Rehab Network, we are inspired to learn about this, and other research projects designed to help us do just that.
Whether you’re in need of mental health services, inpatient addiction treatment or supervised drug detox, you can rest assured the provider we match you with will be able to treat you with the kind of Christian based care you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. You’ll find that strength comes easily and your will power is seemingly fortified by the presence of the Lord in your recovery process, and we are here to ensure you find a facility that leads you down his path and into sobriety for the rest of your life. To inquire about insurance and private payment options for adolescent drug rehabilitation, call (877) 310-9545 or submit a secure online inquiry today.
Abuse of Adderall, a stimulant commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy, is on the rise among young adults ages 18 to 25. A nationwide health survey conducted from 2006 to 2011 and published earlier this year found a 67% increase in misuse (using the drug without a prescription). Emergency department visits due to Adderall consumption rose by 156% during the study period, though prescription numbers remained the same. Over half the people taking Adderall admitted that they were taking drugs prescribed to a family member or friend.
Christian Drug Rehab for Adderall Addiction
Adderall is not a benign drug, though many people believe it to be. It causes serious side effects when used improperly and for the wrong reasons. Health risks include an increase in:
According to study co-author Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, college students typically rely on Adderall as a study aid. The drug helps them remain focused when it is time to pull an all-nighter, work a late shift, or cram for a test. “Our sense is that a sizable portion of those who use [stimulants] believe these medications make them smarter and more capable of studying,” he said.
While health practitioners are acutely aware of Adderall’s misuse, the jury is still out on how to combat it. One possible solution includes tracking stimulant prescriptions in a database to ensure that a patient is not prescribed the same drug from multiple doctors. This practice is already in place for patients who take narcotics prescriptions.
Get Christian Treatment for Adderall Addiction
Christian Rehab Network’s drug rehab facility partners are familiar with the symptoms of Adderall addiction. These faith-based facilities offer detox services, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, family support, and aftercare planning for men and women addicted to stimulant medications or other prescription drugs.
Whether you have been abusing an Adderall prescription or purchasing the stimulant illegally to help you study, focus, or stay awake, the team at Christian Rehab Network will help you find an affordable addiction treatment and detox program. The phone call is free and the advice is invaluable. Call 877.310.9545 now, and trust our team with your physical, emotional, and spiritual restoration.
*Source: published study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Feb. 16, 2016.
Within the last decade, we have heard the words, “sober living program” more often than ever. But what exactly is a sober living program? And how does it affect the recovery process of those with addictions?
The National Institute of Health conducted studies that show that recovery patients who go directly from rehabilitation programs back to their original home environments face a great deal of very difficult challenges and modes of temptation. Often these familiar and sometimes stressful environments decrease the patient’s chances of success.
This is where sober living programs and housing opportunities come in; these programs help to bridge the gap between in-patient recovery and living at home. Sober living programs ease the recovery patient back into the everyday life they have had to leave behind in order to get sober.
In-patient recovery programs can be lengthy, which for many patients becomes an expensive burden. Studies have shown that longer stays in in-patient recovery programs, do not help or increase the chances of a full recovery from addiction, so longer stays in rehab clinics and hospitals is not recommended. A sober living program is much better equipped to help patients learn to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life.
One of the main advantages of sober living programs for recovery patients is their ability to assist with providing the basic skills required to achieve long-term sobriety outside of a hospital or clinic facility.
Patients who have the opportunity to take advantage of sober living programs and housing opportunities increase their chances of being able to cope with the maintenance of their sobriety, while taking on many of the responsibilities they had to leave behind during their healing process.