Experts Call for Greater Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction

July 20th, 2015

Join Together (7/9/15): Addiction specialists and legislators are calling for expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for addiction, USA Today reports. Only 40 percent of the 2.5 million Americans who could benefit from medication-assisted treatment are receiving it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Buprenorphine (sold under the brand name Suboxone) and methadone decrease drug cravings and greatly reduce the risk of relapse in people addicted to heroin and opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, the article notes.

Medication-assisted treatment is a key part of the Obama administration’s plan to fight opioid addiction. According to Melinda Campopiano of SAMHSA, people addicted to opioids who are given medication-assisted treatment cut their risk of death from all causes in half. Their risk of becoming infected with HIV is also reduced by half, she added.

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A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.