Saturday, August 12, 2017

Addiction Drug Underused by Primary Care Docs in U.S.

From Med Line Health Day 08/03/17 THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) --

Many doctors aren't making full use of a medication that can wean people off addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers, according to results of a new survey. 

 Buprenorphine is the first drug for opioid use disorder that's approved for prescription by primary care physicians, allowing treatment in the privacy of a doctor's office. But many doctors aren't applying for the federal waiver that would allow them to prescribe buprenorphine, said researcher Andrew Huhn. He's a postdoctoral fellow with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's behavioral pharmacology research unit. 

 Further, most who have obtained a buprenorphine waiver aren't prescribing the drug to as many patients as allowed, Huhn said. This reluctance to fully utilize buprenorphine is hampering efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States, Huhn said. 

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Editor's note:

American's have been led to believe that their is a magic bullet and a magic key for addiction problems when in fact they are complex, multi-dimensional, and not easily addressed in a primary physician's office in a 12 minute office visit.

Addiction treatment requires not only medication but also a focus on the psycho-social, legal, and spiritual issues which addiction involves. This is not  an area of expertise for most primary care physicians nor do they have the time and energy to address these issues without them being a disruptive to their medical practice.

Bottom line is that treatment of addiction is best when it involves not only medication but a counseling component as well. Primary care offices are not equipped for this counseling component of high quality addiction treatment.

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