Source: Heroin Detox Clinics

Heroin Detox Clinics Outlines The Opioid Epidemic And New Healthcare Guidelines

SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- is responsible for providing helpful information for individuals looking for answers about drug addiction. The website breaks down some of the latest reporting from government entities, to assist struggling addicts and their families.

Patients who are prescribed both benzodiazepines and opioids are four to ten times more likely to overdose compared to those who are prescribed opioids alone.

In previous research, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 30% of opioid overdoses also included benzodiazepines.  The combination is dangerous because both benzodiazepines and opioids slow down the central nervous system, including the respiratory system, which can lead to respiratory failure, coma and death.  It is very common to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication with a pain medication and has been done for years with millions of prescriptions. 

From 2005 to 2010 there was double the amount of co-prescriptions.  From 2010 to 2015 there was actually a decrease.  Researchers are attributing this change to the public awareness to the dangers of opioid overdose related deaths.  The decrease also came around the time of some high-profile celebrity deaths due to opioid overdose, such as Michael Jackson. 

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for the prescribing of opioids. They recommend that clinicians avoid prescribing benzodiazepines concurrently with opioids whenever possible. Both prescription opioids and benzodiazepines now carry FDA "black box" warnings on the label highlighting the dangers of using these drugs together.

Healthcare providers can be responsible when writing prescriptions by adhering to the following guidelines set by the CDC:

  • Use opioids only when benefits are likely to outweigh risks.
  • Start with the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids.  For acute pain, prescribe only the number of days that the pain is expected to be severe enough to require opioids.
  • Reassess benefits and risks if considering dose increases.
  • Use state-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) which help identify patients at risk of addiction or overdose.

The Federal Government is educating healthcare providers and the public about pain management, addiction, and opioid overdose while recognizing the need for providing safe and effective pain management.  Improvement is being made in giving better access to addiction treatment and recovery services. One of the most needed programs is the provision, education and guidelines in the use of the overdose reversing drug, naloxone.  Thousands of lives have been saved by first responders, health care and even citizens who have naloxone on hand.

Author: William Leonard
Address: 402 West Broadway, #400, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 888-325-2454

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