Friday, April 12, 2013

Affordable Care Act, Drug Abuse, and Pain Management

Savage: Affordable Care Act Offers Opportunity to Combat Pain and Drug Abuse


There is a growing national debate about two important life and death issues: the abuse of powerful pain medications and the treatment of chronic pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as a deadly epidemic and the White House Office on National Drug Policy has declared the crisis to be a top public health priority. Meanwhile, a landmark 2011 Institute of Medicine report highlighted the challenges of pain in our aging society — a problem affecting 100 million people at a cost to the U.S. economy of about $600 billion a year.
To address these twin crises, it is critical that Congress fund programs within the Affordable Care Act that provide powerful opportunities to improve care of persons with pain and with substance abuse disorders. These two challenges intersect because many powerful pain medications, such as morphine and oxycodone (known as opioids), that are used to relieve pain for millions of Americans are also misused by others trying to get high or relieve distress. Such misuse can result in addiction or death.
But what has been missing from the public discussion so far is the fundamental reality that better pain treatment will reduce abuse of prescription opioids. To better treat pain, Congress must maintain funding for medical research despite budget proposals that would put it on the chopping block. If we do not find new ways to improve treatment of chronic pain, prescription drug abuse will continue to rise.
The simple equation is this: More pills used to treat pain equals more pills available for misuse. There is certainly room to improve opioid prescribing practices by doctors, and we can work to reduce diversion of opioid medications by raising public awareness and encouraging people to lock up their medications and destroy leftover pills. But until we as a society work to advance pain treatment options and support payment for more comprehensive pain management, doctors will use opioids to relieve suffering, and we will be challenged by prescription opioid abuse.
Federal agencies are scrambling to address prescription drug abuse and earlier this month a bipartisan group of eight senators called for a Government Accountability Office report to better coordinate interagency efforts. Drug Enforcement Agency-sponsored drug take-back days have made thousands of tons of unused drugs unavailable for abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Food and Drug Administration have all launched innovative education initiatives to improve prescribing. This month, an FDA panel recommended increased restrictions on one opioid drug and another panel heard testimony on a controversial proposal to re-label all opioids to limit their use in chronic pain.
A critical piece of the solution to reducing prescription opioid abuse, however, lies in improving options for treatment of both pain and addiction disorders.
Chronic pain is often a complex condition in which biological, psychological and social issues intertwine to amplify suffering and disability. While private and government insurance programs usually pay for medications and injections that can relieve the symptom of pain, it is often impossible to get adequate coverage for clinician time to fully evaluate the complex causes of persistent pain. Further, it’s hard to get support to coordinate and pay for adequate counseling, physical therapy, complementary treatments and other approaches that may empower patients in long-term recovery. If we improve care of chronic pain, we will in turn need fewer prescriptions and see less diversion and abuse.
The rollout of the Affordable Care Act is a huge opportunity to both reduce prescription drug abuse and improve the care of pain. The ACA names essential benefits that must be included in new programs, such as state insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansions that will serve as models for all insurers. These include a requirement for treatment of mental health and substance-use disorders in parity with other medical conditions that can potentially expand access to care for millions who need it.
In addition there are provisions to improve management of chronic diseases through better support for care coordination and doctor-patient visits, and helping patients better manage their own health. These should be extended to the chronic conditions of pain and addiction. Such benefits will reduce long-term health care costs by reducing more expensive complications of poorly managed illness.
Importantly, the Affordable Care Act also creates an Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee intended to enhance pain research efforts and collaboration. Despite the fact that pain is the most common reason people consult doctors, research focused on pain currently makes up less than 1 percent of the research budget of the National Institutes of Health.
Reducing pain and reducing drug abuse are not, as commonly thought, at odds. Members of Congress can fight prescription drug abuse and pain together by ensuring that the powerful opportunities afforded by the ACA to advance pain research and improve care of persons with chronic pain and with addiction disorders are fully realized in its implementation.
Dr. Seddon R. Savage is director of the Dartmouth Center on Addiction, Recovery and Education, teaches at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and is the immediate past president of the American Pain Society.


Antoine Lockhart said...

I guess, this act should have the eyes of the public. There are just to many events in the past including drug addiction - related regulations that were taken for granted and end up making no difference as when they weren't established yet. There is still a great number of young people in the rehab centres.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I found this post to be very informative. It is important for those struggling with addiction to know there is help and support out there.

psychiatry Salem MA

Bodyfitness said...

Enjoyed it when I see looking at the Your Blog. It is given me a few ideas for my next website. The simple yet elegant charcoal theme, really stands out!Thanks for sharing.

Adelaine S. said...

This act is essential because drug abuse in America has been on the rise and many people continue to fall victim to addiction without receiving the professional treatment they need to recover.

khushi yadav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Filme said...

filme onlinefilme Online Hd, Vizioneaza filme online subtitrate 2013 gratis traduse in limba romana la calitate HD, filme hd online

How to write a resume said...

aging parent careCaregiver Space. The work we do at The Caregiver Space stems from our commitment to ensuring caregivers feel seen, heard and most of all supported.

Anonymous said...

Really i am impressed from this post....the person who created this post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected..Thanks for sharing this with us. I found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates..for more details you can also visit something like pain clinic tampa and get more informations.

jaden jorden said...

Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article. The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me.
pain management las vegas nv

Heal My Fingers said...

I feel that the Affordable Care Act is a big step towards reducing drug abuse and improving pain care management. There is an urgent need to reduce the rampant use of opioid analgesics as they have widespread side effects.

Alaric Caleb said...

Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.
Dallas pain clinic

Dr. Basim Elhabashy said...

It is very nice blog and very handy content on drug abuse treatment. Thank you so much for publishing this article. Please visit this link for more information on Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs

Edward J Cejka said...

I really would like to praise you for writing such a fabulous article Thanks for your great articles.

Sean Levine said...

Thanks for sharing this information with us. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center Finder can help find the right drug and alcohol treatment centers for you and your family recovery needs. Our website is made up of a variety of centers along with a range of charges & approaches to solutions.

Elissa Kundak said...

Cost is no matter for cure the patient from the drug addiction.First we should make a treatment and analyze how to recover the people who are addicted to drugs.
drug treatment fort lauderdale

Anonymous said...

Pain management is very costly. I am a poor lady I can’t afford the cost of pain management therapy. The pain management act is like an angel for me.

James Duke said...

My sister is abusing her rights to pain medication. She was in a car crash that resulted in her getting launched out of her car. I think it'd be the best to get some help. I don't think she'll be able to stop. I don't want to see her go off the deep end.

Alina Jentsch said...

Nice post! This blog has given me a better understanding. Thanks a lot for such an informative blog post. Cheers!
Ryan Levin | Ryan Levin

Kelsey Compars said...

It is really sad when you know someone that abuses drugs. I have never had any close relatives that have been into that but I have had a couple friends that were. I know it was a struggle for them for a while until they decided to fight it and get clean.

Anonymous said...

This information is superbly attractive that I couldn’t resist commenting
OxyContin Addiction Cleveland Ohio

adams robinson said...

Hi this one is great and is really a good post.
Pain Clinic San Diego

Eliana morian said...

Hi this one is great and is really a good post. I think it will help me a lot in the related stuff and is very much useful for me. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job..
Pain management Dallas

Anonymous said...

Useful information shared. I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk through. I appreciate this post.
Pain Clinics Chicago

Dr. Zaki Anwar, M.D said...

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment.
Workers Compensation
Botox Injections
Epidural Injections
Epidural Lysis Procedure
Facet Blocks
Intercostal Nerve Blocks
Intrathecal Pump Therapy
Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy
Joint Injections
Percutaneous Discectomy
Racz Epidural Neurolysis
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Platelet Rich Plasma
Pain Treatments

Syed Ahmed said...

The information you have shared with us is really so great, nice effort!! I add one website in which you could get more info about drug rehab centers in houston

max den said...

Amazing post

Adriana henry said...

Opioids nodoubt are pain relievers but in reality they are like giving other effects as well along with pain relief and that can be stopped only with the help of Physiotherapy North Ryde because the treatment here is totally side effects free and a patient does not get addicted to the treatment which is the most drastic side effect of the drugs.

victor smith said...

Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks..alcohol abuse rehab centers

Shikha said...

This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would wantHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that’s been written about for years. Great stuff, just great! canadian pill identifier

Post a Comment