Study Identifies Factors Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Earlier considered as a scourge specific to military veterans, opioid addiction has today spread to each section of the society. Surprisingly, the crisis has largely engulfed teenagers, women or older adults. Addiction to opioids, including heroin, morphine and prescription pain pills, has led to severe physical and mental health problems among Americans, apart from creating a burgeoning and dangerous black market of illegal drugs on the streets.

Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that of the 20.5 million people aged 12 years or older who were diagnosed with substance use disorders, 2 million were addicted to prescription pain relievers and nearly 591,000 were hooked on heroin.

Getting rid of opioid addiction is tricky due to the involvement of medication. Additionally, opioid addiction recovery treatment requires long-term engagement in therapy for its success, which many fail to follow. Disengagement from treatment has become a norm in people undergoing recovery from an addiction to opioid drugs.

Until recently, a majority of people addicted to prescription pain relievers were treated with buprenorphine. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment has pointed out that many patients undergoing the treatment process tend to give up midway owing to various reasons, such as unemployment, belonging to a particular race or an acute hepatitis C infection.

What causes disengagement from opioid addiction treatment

According to the study by the researchers from the Boston University (BU), individuals with opioid use disorder are more likely to disengage from treatment programs if they are black or Hispanic, unemployed, or have hepatitis C. Buprenorphine – Subutex and Suboxone – is the most widely used drug for the treatment of opioid addiction due to its efficacy in reducing the rates of heroin and prescription opioid use. Additionally, it reduces the chances of “risky behaviors” that are associated with development of co-morbidities such as HIV or viral hepatitis infection.

As part of the study, the researchers evaluated more than 1,200 patients treated at office-based addiction treatment (OBAT) program between 2002 and 2014 to identify the patient-specific factors associated with retention in the treatment program for longer than one year. Factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, employment, infection with hepatitis C virus, co-morbid psychiatric conditions, and prior or current use of drugs or alcohol were specifically evaluated.

Highlighting some important disparities in treatment outcomes (especially racial/ethnic), the study observed, “Older age, female, and co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis were associated with greater odds of treatment retention beyond one year, patients who were black or Hispanic, unemployed, and had evidence of hepatitis C viral infection were associated with decreased odds of treatment retention beyond one year.”

The study plays a key role in understanding the potential of opioid agonist buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction at a time when Americans are fighting a tough battle against prescription drug abuse. The study is expected to open newer avenues of treating opioid addiction, apart from encouraging patients to complete the recovery program.

Treating opioid addiction through effective therapeutic interventions

Like any other addiction, opioid abuse is also a brain disease that needs to be treated immediately. Prescriptions for opioid medications written by doctors has resulted in unprecedented level of opioid addiction in the country. While institutions at the federal level are making efforts to address the issue by sharing guidelines on the nature and extent of prescription to physicians, it is important to identify alternate therapeutic interventions that are more effective.

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Cost of Alcohol Abuse is Far Greater Than Drug Abuse in California, Says Study

The misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs can have various repercussions, not only on the individuals doing that and their families, but also on the society as a whole. One of its major consequences is financial burden. Besides causing health complications and raising concerns for public safety, alcohol and drugs cost the United States billions of dollars every year.

Like the impact, the economic cost of these substances varies immensely from one place to another. In fact, the cost of alcohol misuse is relatively far greater than the cost of drug misuse in most counties in the U.S. Since studies related to economic and social costs of alcohol and drug abuse are generally conducted at the state and national levels, this allows policymakers to better assess the problems within their jurisdiction and come up with countermeasures.

Similarly, a study, led by author Ted Miller and conducted at the Prevention Research Center of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, sought to find out the consequences of alcohol and drug misuse in California and was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (ACER).

Alcohol abuse cost California $129 billion in 2010

The study highlighted the eye-opening economic burden of alcohol and drug related problems on the Californian taxpayer’s money across all 58 counties and 50 midsized cities. It was found that alcohol-related problems are more prevalent and costlier than drug-related problems in California. Moreover, both costs and repercussions varied greatly from one place to another. Some other findings are as follows:

While alcohol-related problems cost $129 billion in 2010, which comes to $3,450 for every Californian, drug-related problems cost $44 billion in the same year.
The highest per capita cost ($7,819) of alcohol problem was more than three times the lowest per capita cost ($2,588). Among the counties with drug-related problems the per capita cost varied between $608 and $3,786.
The rates of alcohol and drug-related problems were found to be higher in the Californian cities. The highest per capita cost of alcohol-related problems in a city was $10,734, 11 times higher than the city with the lowest costs. Among the cities, the highest per capita cost of drug-related problems was $7,159, almost 19 times higher than the city with the lowest cost.

Correspondingly, the breakup of alcohol and drug-related costs are as follows:

Crashes and accidents under the influence of alcohol cost $26 billion in 2010.
Of the $10 billion cost borne due to violence associated to substance use, 73 percent was attributed to alcohol, while the remaining 27 percent was attributed to drugs.
Of the $127 billion expenditure incurred due to other illnesses and injuries, 73 percent of the costs resulted from alcohol-related problems. Similarly, 82 percent of the $4 billion cost incurred due to nonviolent crimes were attributed to drug abuse.
74 percent of $2 billion incurred due to treatment expenditure was attributed to drug-related problems.

The study authors believe that the findings can assist policymakers and help the state in planning and allocating resources for substance abuse problems. In addition, this study provides a crucial tool for predicting and averting alcohol and drug-related problems, as well as a crucial means to plot localized cost estimates.

According to Dr. Miller, “Efficient funding of substance abuse prevention, enforcement and treatment hinges upon understanding the variation of alcohol and other drug problems from place to place. Because estimated costs combine data across many health and social issues, they provide an effective, comprehensible, and comprehensive measure for use in understanding how communities shape their distinctive social environments and for monitoring the effectiveness of our intervention strategies.”

Avoid the death trap

In 2010, problems related to alcohol and drugs in California led to 22,281 and 5,533 deaths, respectively. In addition, crimes related to alcohol and drugs were responsible for 350,000 and 164,000 deaths, respectively. These large and unsettling numbers are pertaining to only one of the 50 U.S. states, signaling a far greater magnitude of the problem.

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Instant Drug Test – What Are They?

This form of drug testing does not have to be sent to the lab for professional analysis. The results appear quickly after being done. This type of drug test can be advantageous in a workplace. This instant drug test can be used if an employee is hurt on the job. It will show if the employee was under the influence of an illegal drug causing the employee to be careless and cause the accident. It is often used in a drug treatment program to see if anyone in the program is lying about the m using illegal drugs. It is also used in probation offices to check those on probation for illegal drug usage.

This test may screen for only one illegal drug like opiates or marijuana but some of them test for several drugs at the same time. An instant drug test may feature parameters or panels, which will tell how many substances the test will screen for. Some of the common instant tests are five panel, ten panel, and three panel. The test that is considered more comprehensive is the ten panel. It will screen for about ninety-five percent of all illegal drugs. This includes methamphetamines, marijuana, opiates, and cocaine.

These drug tests can be done in different ways but the one that is used the most is the urine instant drug test. When it screens the person’s urine, it screens for the metabolites in the urine and not the presence of any particular drug. These metabolites exist only because of a drug that a person might be using. These can test a person’s blood, hair, saliva, and even sweat, too.

In addition to testing for illegal drugs, these tests can also test for recent alcohol consumption. A Breathalyzer┬« is a form of an instant drug test for alcohol. It uses a sample of a person’s breath to determine their blood alcohol content. There are blood and urine tests that screen for alcohol in the body along with alcohol strips. These are put in the mouth to identify if the person has drunk alcohol.

The time a drug can be detected accurately is called the detection period. These time periods vary with each illegal drug because each illegal drug is metabolized at different rates by the body. Marijuana is detected in the urine up to thirty days after smoking it. This is because it is stored in the fat cells of your body and takes longer to purge. Being a water-soluble substance cocaine is usually out of your system within seventy-two hours after using.

An instant drug test makes it harder to get a job and helps prevent employers from paying workers compensation for accidents due to the employee being under the influence of illegal drugs.

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Weight Loss – Is Cardio Really the Best Way to Lose Fat?

If cardiovascular benefits were all you could gain from doing cardio exercises, you would suddenly see emptier gyms around the nation. While it is great to know you can strengthen your heart and clean out your blood vessels by running on a treadmill, you would likely argue the main reason to do cardio is for weight loss. Few, if any people like exercising on those machines. This is not to say you should feel ashamed if you use cardio to lose weight. In fact, it is great if you do because it means you are exercising, never mind you are aiming for weight loss. First and foremost you should be physically active because that is the main way you are going to improve your health in the long-term. Weight loss is secondary.

But assuming you do like to do cardio, it may lead you to ask the following: is cardio the best way to lose fat? If you have not wondered about this before, it is time, because cardio is not without its downside. Cardio – whether it is running, cycling, or walking at a brisk pace, is efficient at burning calories. This much is clear. If you have not guessed it, however, no amount of cardio can overcome a poor diet.

As far as weight loss goes, you must be in a caloric deficit to ensure you make progress. Which means you could fail to lose weight despite running a couple of dozen kilometers a week. More cardio is not the answer. The issue many people encounter with cardio is they see it as a primary solution to their health problems. As beneficial as it can be, a physically active lifestyle must be complemented by a healthy diet.

So, is cardio the best way to lose fat? The short answer is no. A balanced diet with caloric limitations comes first. At the end of the day, cardio is merely a tool you can use to facilitate your efforts and boost your results. Moreover, there are some downsides to cardio you should be aware of. Intense cardio sessions can trigger an insatiable appetite, and this is not without reason. The body simply wants to recover the precious energy it exhausts during exercise.

With that said, knowing this allows you to make the most of a disadvantageous situation. If your willpower is strong enough, you can continue to eat sensibly following your workout to maintain a steady deficit for the rest of the day. It will not be easy, but it may be worthwhile for you.

Ultimately, it is a balance that proves to be ideal for most people. Moderate cardio a few times a week along with a healthy diet is a sure recipe for weight loss success.

Although managing Type 2 diabetes can be very challenging, it is not a condition you must just live with. Make simple changes to your daily routine – include exercise to help lower both your blood sugar levels and your weight.

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Proper Nutrition and Weight Loss: Tips From Dietitians

A healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition are a good impact on the health and appearance. What if you cannot lose weight? Weight loss doctor answers our questions.

In our country, people are thrown into crash diets; the first day they stop eating sweets, meat or sometimes go to the extent of not eating at all. How are such abrupt changes good for health?

You’re right. Unfortunately, most people, especially women, want to lose weight now and immediately. And this is because they are not even aware of the dangers that can arise due to their rapid weight loss. It is important to consult aesthetic services before planning anything.

If we quickly reduce the weight, then we lose the most valuable thing – quality protein muscles, the heart, which is harmful to the body. It is because the body we miser, it is easier and easier to “burn” muscle protein, spending work just 1100 calories, while as the fact that “burn” one kilogram of fat has 7500 calories required. Therefore, with a sharp decrease of weight, we lose weight, not only and not so much at the expense of fat, but mainly due to the water and muscle mass.

We are bipedal; that is, our bodies hang in bunches that contain fat. With a sharp decrease in the weight of the fat away quickly, ligaments sag, not having to be reduced, and this leads to the omission of bodies – quite a common complication after a dramatic weight loss.

The sharp limitation of food – this is not a healthy lifestyle, and stress on the body, especially the emotional as well as food – the most affordable pleasure for many. Depriving yourself of pleasure, many fall into depression, which is called “dietary.”

It spoils the character, there are conflicts, and it all leads to breakdowns and overeating. Several types of research have shown that if, before the start of the diet about 40% of people have those or other psychological problems, which are called “eating disorders,” after the beginning of the diet for 100% of the people has such violations.

There are aesthetic services issues – if the fat that has formed our cheeks and chins, goes too fast, the skin and the muscles do not have time to be reduced, and this leads to skin sagging. Severe restrictions on food – a reduction of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, affects the liver, kidneys, heart, immunity decreases, can form gallstones. It does not look like a proper diet.

As you can see, a lot of complications, so the advice to readers: get ready to gradually move to a good diet, to get used to a healthy lifestyle and lose weight for a long time.

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