New Technology to Revolutionize the Treatment of Opioid Addiction



Opioid Addiction or Opioid Use Disease (OUD) continues to be a problem in Indian Country.  Native Americans are affected by this disease more than any other minority. 



According to an article on the Health and Human Services website, “5.2 percent (72,000) of AI/AN aged 18 and older reported misusing a prescription drug in the past year and 4.0 percent (56,000) of AI/ANs aged 18 and older reported misusing a prescription pain reliever in the past year.” 


The current solution of treating Opioid is MAT or Medicated Assisted Treatment, which literally uses synthetic Opioids to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Commons drugs used are suboxone, and methadone as well as buprenorphine.


Here are 6 Reasons why MAT is not a good solution for helping patients with OUD


1. MAT Does Not Relieve Withdrawal Symptoms

The thought is that taking these approved medications will ease an addict through the withdrawal phase so they can quit easily. There’s a problem with that thought process.


2. MAT Encourages Addiction

They say, “Medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).”


3. MAT Is Not Safe

Methadone is dangerous, particularly when mixed with other drugs. In fact, methadone is to blame for a significant number of all opioid-related deaths.  Suboxone can be just as dangerous and addictive. 


4. MAT Lengthens Dependency to Drugs

Prescribing another opiate to treat drug addiction postpones recovery. The longer a person continues on these

treatment options, the less motivated they become to be drug-free.


5. Withdrawal

With all the discussion about how Methadone and Suboxone are supposed to aid in the withdrawal symptoms, it is important to note that the same thing occurs when a person attempts to stop these maintenance drugs. Methadone Abuse Help states, “The withdrawal symptoms are intense and if attempted too suddenly can be fatal.” That sounds exactly like what occurs if you attempt to stop taking opiates.


6. MAT Attempts to Treat the Symptom, But Fails to Cure the Addiction

In fact, most people who are addicted suffer from other issues as well. Someone addicted to opiates will often use cocaine or other illicit substances from time to time. MAT doesn’t solve that. They also regularly face mental health disorders such as bipolar, depression and anxiety. MAT doesn’t solve that.


Summary

Working together, we can radically transform the antiquated means of opiate-based withdrawal treatment, that so many Native Americans suffering from OUD, are subjected to. By partnering with Native Health Advisors, we can introduce ST Genesis as a bold new innovation to facilitate withdrawal from Opioid Use Disorder. By doing so, we can improve the quality and effectiveness of treatment and recovery – as well as working directly

with providers of clinical and recovery support services, and others that influence the delivery of services – to improve the quality of workforce training and service delivery to tribal communities.


To find out more about the program go to https://nativehealthadvisors.com/opioid-use-disorder, email jashford@nativehealthadvisors.com or call us at (918) 695-3080


Sources:

https://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/asl/testimony/2018-03/opioids-indian-country-beyond-crisis.html

https://tribalepicenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AASTEC-opioids-fact-sheet.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/how-do-

medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction-work

https://www.clearbrookinc.com/news/mat-programs-not-good-option-recovery/




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