Today, in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War, stigma around addiction remains one of the biggest barriers to saving lives. Stigma means a sense of shame or judgment, and it is pervasive for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. Too often, addiction is considered a failing of morals, will power or personal responsibility.
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush told lawmakers Wednesday how problem-solving courts are addressing the underlying problems of drug addictions and mental illnesses that lead to many crimes.
“These courts work because judges get out from behind the bench, convene community partners, and truly connect with those standing before them in desperate need of a new path,” Rush said as she addressed lawmakers in the Indiana House Chamber at her sixth State of the Judiciary Address.
Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress leaders are hoping to address a significant gap in Bartholomew County’s ability to help people overcome substance use disorder –- a gap in available recovery housing.
Researchers found that in U.S. states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, fatal opioid overdoses dipped by 6%, compared to states that opted out. That included an 11% lower death rate from heroin overdoses, and a 10% lower rate from synthetic opioids, like illicitly made fentanyl.
From group counseling, to counseling individual inmates and finding ways to assist them, the job of the program coordinator also entails developing a variety of ways of helping offenders, Patton said.
A recent survey found that opioid or other drug abuse was one of the most serious problems in rural communities, according to a study published Jan. 8 in JAMA Network Open.
Less than one third of teens and young adults who overdose on opioids receive addiction treatment afterward, and the few who do get help receive counseling instead of medication to combat substance misuse, a U.S. study suggests.
Stigma has greatly limited treatment options for people living with opioid use disorder. Methadone treatment, for example, is often referred to by those in recovery as “liquid handcuffs” due to the daily, in-person check-ins required for treatment. Other methods of treatment, like buprenorphine, can only be prescribed by a growing, but limited, number of health care providers due to the requirement of a full day course and a special waiver process. Stigma of addiction and myths about buprenorphine have created a barrier to engaging primary care physicians in addressing our greatest public health problem.
Teens who binge drink or abuse prescription opioids may be more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, too, two new studies suggest.
“Teaching young people about the dangers of addiction, opioids and prescription drugs better equips them to handle situations, helps arm them with useful tools and hopefully deters them from use of illicit or non-prescribed drugs,” Mayor Linda Gorton said.