More Doctors Recommend Addiction Drugs As Rural Overdoses Rise

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 2, 2022

Drug addiction is common in rural America, 1 in 5 individuals in the country are addicted to drugs. A gigantic number of patients are either addicted to heroin or opioid painkillers.

Andrea Storjohann, a nurse practitioner based in Marshall town expressed that a wide range of patients is trying to recover from drugs. According to her patients are misusing opioid and heroin painkiller drugs.

The clinic where she works is a non-profit agency primary health center in Iowa, united states. She addresses that she is treating patients by prescribing minor doses of buprenorphine 2016, a medication to prevent withdrawal symptoms from misusing opioid drugs.

Unlike methadone, a powerful drug used to treat chronic pain and uses to reduce the craving and withdrawal from the effects of opioids, buprenorphine is much safer and even contains a superior safety profile than methadone should be prescribed at primary clinical centers as well as neighborhood medical dispensaries.

Patients Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms

Besides, federal authorities encourage more health clinics to prescribe medications containing buprenorphine such as suboxone for treating patients who are addicted to opioids. Opioid addiction in the country widened in the past few years due to the massive distribution of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug classified to be highly addictive.

More Doctors Recommend Addiction Drugs As Rural Overdoses Rise

Patients who have been addicted to fentanyl can suffer withdrawal symptoms when they initiate buprenorphine medication.

As well, due to the rising opioid addiction Iowa health care and Attorney general office signed an agreement to launch opioid treatments using $3.8 million settlement funds.

This healthcare program aims to treat opioid-addicted patients as well as educate healthcare providers on how to use the medications, to save from the illicit distribution of medications. 

Federal agencies and the health resources and services administration have spent millions to expand healthcare services hoping to treat opioid addictions by encouraging healthcare providers to learn modern ways to treat opioids and other kinds of addiction

The changes in federal law for allowing nurse practitioners, physicians, and other health care providers to prescribe buprenorphine, an opioid that produces a mild high used by pharmacies and is effective in preventing withdrawal symptoms as well as reversion into drug use, has been significantly treating the drug addicts.

Another drug that prevents temptations towards opioids and heroin is suboxone, a combination of two drugs buprenorphine and naloxone that helps the patient to reduce the dependence on a drug in the long term. Many patients have revealed some horrible incidents of insomnia, and diarrhea while trying to get clean of opioid drugs without suboxone.

Patients can intake buprenorphine for months or years without any adverse effects however, one should not see it as an alternative because if taken as a treatment then patients can retrieve control of their lives.

However, a recent study by Dr. Alison Lynch, an addiction medicine specialist states that usage of buprenorphine when fentanyl is in the system can cause harsh muscle pains and other symptoms. The illegal distribution of fentanyl has allowed drug dealers to mix it with other drugs.

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Lynch advises checking up on the body before treating it with buprenorphine, and if it does contain then administer smaller doses of buprenorphine at the initial stages.

In the past four years, the number of certified healthcare practitioners has doubled to prescribe buprenorphine according to the federal state as the drug overdose deaths by overdose of fentanyl and other opioids have increased in the united states.

As per the healthcare specialists, the state should expand medical programs as well as offer healthcare insurance to low-income adults because the federal government pays most of these expenses and it may run out if the addiction spikes.

Lynch addressed that even healthcare practitioners can benefit from these courses by learning how to properly manage treatments. Furthermore, she sees this addiction treatment as rewarding when patients feel better, which many professional gets frustrated over the journey.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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