The first step toward recovery is deciding to go to drug rehab. After you’ve decided to seek help, you’ll need to select an addiction treatment center that meets your requirements.
From amenities to treatment alternatives and quality of care, there is a significant difference between drug rehab hospitals and clinics. Finding the right treatment for your condition is critical to your recovery success.
Increased Cases of Substance Abuse
According to a study by UC San Francisco researchers, patients with alcohol and other substance use disorders accounted for an increasing percentage of emergency visits and hospitalizations in the United States before the pandemic.
Injection drug use, as well as substance abuse in general, imposes a significant health and economic burden on society. Opioid-related mortality in North America has been rising year after year for the past decade. Annual drug overdose deaths in the United States increased by about 30% in 2020, to 93 331 deaths, the greatest number on record, with opioids accounting for 75% of all deaths.
Unfortunately, many of these deaths could have been avoided. Even though we have effective treatments, there are still many lost opportunities for intervention, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing access to evidence-based treatments in all healthcare settings.
Addiction Treatment Options
Evidence-based therapies can be started opportunistically during hospital contacts, a key opportunity to prevent death from substance use disorders.
Given the vast literature supporting this approach, it’s somewhat unexpected that increasing access to evidence-based drugs like methadone and buprenorphine can save lives.
Other treatment alternatives, like detoxification and psychiatric therapies, are available, but real-world research from the United States shows that only methadone and buprenorphine are linked to fewer opioid-related overdoses.
After an almost decade-long opioid epidemic in the United States, it’s perhaps surprising that, in 2021, more research is needed to demonstrate the value of clinical models that increase access to these evidence-based treatments, as well as to justify the funding of addiction specialists within the hospital system. Despite repeated initiatives to expand the availability of these medicines outside of specialist systems, it is a sad and well-known fact that they are underutilized in many parts of the world, even where they are available.
Formalized addiction care services provide critical opportunities for medical and nursing students, residents, and nursing staff, as well as bringing expertise to other departments such as pharmacies and allied health.
It’s critical to consider why these services aren’t already available. One major impediment appears to be structural stigma, in which inequitable resource allocation makes it more difficult for patients to get proper care for substance use problems than for other health issues.
A shortage of experts in hospitals, in particular, can lead to fragmented care and poor health outcomes. Initiating addiction treatment in the hospital has been shown to increase the likelihood of persons continuing treatment following release.
We should look for various measures to encourage involvement with evidence-based therapies, in addition to having addiction medicine specialists in hospitals. Peer recovery coaches and low-barrier treatment clinics are two examples, with research demonstrating their cost-effectiveness in both inpatient and general medical settings.
Given the sharp rise in addiction-related deaths in many parts of the world over the last decade, as well as the well-established burden of disease associated with alcohol and drug use, it’s past time for addiction medicine to be recognized as a medical specialty on par with any other, and to address structural stigma in funding models that prevent timely and high-quality care.
Is There a Link Between Covid And Substance Abuse?
The continuous tension and uncertainty around COVID-19 have resulted in a rise in demand for psychological treatments in the United States—but anxiety and depression aren’t the only mental health challenges people are dealing with. Experts believe that the overuse of opiates and stimulants is also on the rise and that psychologists can assist.
In addition to the inherent hazards associated with substance abuse, people with SUD are more likely to acquire COVID-19 and have worse COVID-19 outcomes, such as a higher risk of hospitalization and mortality.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13% of Americans started or increased substance use as a manner of coping with stress or emotions associated with COVID-19 as of June 2020. Since the start of the pandemic, overdoses have also increased. According to the American Medical Association, the trend has persisted into 2020, with rises in opioid-related mortality documented in more than 40 U.S. states, as well as significant concerns for persons with substance use disorders.
According to research, there was a spike in substance usage throughout the pandemic, with an increase in both quantity and frequency of drug use. If their normal substances were more difficult to obtain, some persons who use substances may have started using new drugs.
The Link Between The Pandemic And The Usage Of Drugs
Compton warns against lumping together any increased drug use with COVID-19. Shifts in drug availability, for example, could be to blame for an increase in illicit opioid use deaths; if heroin isn’t readily available, someone might turn to fentanyl, which is far more potent. Experts concur, however, that pandemic-related strains, ranging from economic stress and loneliness to general anxiety about the virus, are a primary driver of the surge, based on study and clinical observation. A perfect storm of things that we know boost drug use has come together. People are more anxious and isolated, which leads to them making harmful decisions such as drinking more and abusing drugs.
People may have fewer options to cope when their stress levels rise, which may contribute to an increase in substance abuse. For example, resilience-building activities like physical activity and social contacts haven’t always been as safe or accessible, which can contribute to certain people starting to use drugs or using them more frequently or in larger amounts.
Telemedicine Is Becoming More Popular
Fortunately, because of the improved availability of telemedicine for behavioral health concerns, patients have been able to receive care for substance use disorders more easily during the pandemic. While the epidemic forced many clinics and community-based groups to close their doors, as insurance carriers and organizations recognized the need, telemedicine options for physical and mental health concerns have become increasingly available. Furthermore, community-based groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are increasingly meeting remotely. In addition, most insurers, have relaxed past telemedicine limits on behavioral health therapy, such as substance use disorder treatment.
People with drug use disorders can now seek remote mental health care because of improved telehealth availability. Psychologists are in a good position to help patients who are battling substance abuse issues. However, the type of medicine they use determines how they assist their patients.
The first step in reducing the long-term effects of drug use, such as overdose, is to encourage people to seek medical treatment. Concurrent psychological treatment can help people stick to their medication schedules, identify and respond to stressors in healthier ways that led to drug use, and address linked disorders like pain, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
When it comes to assisting people who are battling substance abuse, there is no black-and-white solution. It’s all about adapting to the specific demands of each patient.