Drug addiction is one of the worst situations an individual, their family and friends can ever encounter. Drug and alcohol can completely consume and individual to the point they are no longer recognizable. Drugs affect the mind, body, and emotions of an addict. Addicts only have one thing on their minds and that is to get more drugs. They will do whatever is necessary to get more. Addicts lie, cheat, steal, and harm even some of their closest family members or friends; all in the name of drugs. Drug addiction is a progressive problem that manifests itself in an individual through stages. None of these stages are identical, addict to addict, but many of them are similar and happen sporadically.
The United States is currently going through a period of rapid increase in drug addiction and related injury. The rise in prescription drug abuse has fueled a heroin epidemic that is sweeping across the country. Those areas that do not see it regularly are only in the developmental stages of the issue, while other areas like specific counties in Indiana have a full blown catastrophe. The rise in opiate based overdoses in the country has authorities running to the drawing boards attempting to find a solution to this problem.
When an individual is rushed to a hospital on an emergency the hospital staff and doctors get right to work. If it is an emergency, what else would they do? They would not take a few days to weigh the options with the patient, no. They would get right into fixing the problem. When an addict is transported to the hospital for an overdose case doctors immediately apply overdose reversal medications to solve the problem. This saves the addicts life, but it also neglects the real issue; addiction. Addiction is a chronic relapsing issue that requires significant treatment to overcome. Should doctors in the ER, treating and overdose patient, begin treatment immediately for their addiction? Yes, they should.
Treating ER as an Intervention
Intervention are wonderful tools that individuals can use to get a drug addicted loved one the help they need. Doctors of the Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut have conducted research into how successful beginning treatment in the ER can be. These doctors prescribed medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms in combination with brief counseling intervention and a focused referral. The staff agreed that the experiment worked well. There were more than 75 percent of the treated people that received the medicine, counseling intervention and referral to treatment were in treatment thirty days later. Two other test groups were created out of the 329 opioid users; 37 percent of the individuals that only received a referral went to treatment and those that received brief counseling and referral had 45 percent in treatment. The test used buprenorphine to treat the opioid user’s withdrawal symptoms. The drug is approved for office based treatment, but the doctors must be trained and has a limited number of patients. The study shows that the administration of buprenorphine to ease withdrawal symptoms in ER patients that are addicted to opioids does help them in recovery.
The study speaks for itself; while the sample size was small it did provide positive results. It often takes an addict a very traumatic experience before they are able to accept treatment. An overdose episode could easily be that experience. Treating them immediately could greatly increase their chances of successful rehabilitation. It should be noted that the best treatment for drug addiction is through a proper drug rehabilitation center that utilizes a natural method of rehab.