PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dean Ruble, who helps his patients to overcome drug and alcohol addictions, is speaking out about new article
describing on how tight restrictions on medications are proving problematic for those who actually need these drugs to fight back against substance abuse. Many patients are now being hit with limits on the drugs that they use to help curb cravings. These pills are often used for opioid addiction treatment, and include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. The new policies, which were put into place by Medicaid and private insurers, are proving troubling for those with serious addictions who could benefit from the medications' effects.
As more and more organizations begin to put restrictions into place on how doctors can prescribe medicines used to treat addiction, medical professionals are at a loss for effective ways to help their patients cope. A report from the American Society of Addiction Medicine found that only 28 states have Medicaid policies that cover all three of the types of drugs that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for the treatment of opioid addiction. The findings also show that most states place restrictions on getting these medications by requiring a prior authorization and re-authorization, as well as imposing lifetime limitations and tapering dosage strengths.
"This is unfortunate, since these drugs often prove enormously useful for those who are trying to kick an addiction. While there are certainly other ways to treat addiction, it is nice to have these options available," explains Dean Ruble.
Mady Chalk, director of the Center for Policy Research and Analysis at the Treatment Research Institute agrees, noting, "Now that we finally have medications that are shown to be effective and cost-effective, it is shameful to throw up roadblocks to their use."
The regulations are due to rising misuse of prescription drugs such as OxyContin or Percocet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 12 million Americans acknowledge using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in 2010. Though the abuse of these kinds of drugs is on the rise, so is the amount of opportunity for treatment
It is well documented that painkillers bind receptors in the brain to decrease the perception of pain, however they can also produce feelings of euphoria and are highly addictive. The opioids that have come into question can cause sedation and slow breathing, thus helping to stop addictive feelings from taking over. However, many professionals feel that the negative associations linked with addiction have caused insurance groups to discredit this unique form of treatment.
"This is a stigmatized illness. It's a chronic illness just like diabetes and asthma, but people with those diseases often don't commit crimes. But that's another reason why these treatment drugs need to be fully funded. Unlike those other illnesses, with this one there is a public safety issue," explains Carol McDaid, co-founder of a consulting firm that specializes in substance abuse policy.
"A person dealing with substance abuse should have all treatment options available to them, regardless of how non-traditional they may seem," explains Dean Ruble.
is a medical professional who works tirelessly to help his patients battle against drug and alcohol addiction. He has held a number of prestigious positions at various practices, and has achieved a number of educational accomplishments. Dr. Ruble is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He currently practices at Midwest Medical Point of Care.