COVID poses hardships for people with substance abuse problems

FACULTY Q&ABoth fatal and nonfatal overdoses have increased this year compared to last, according to a recent report by the Overdose Data Mapping Application Program. And, anecdotal information suggests that compared to last year, people in recovery are relapsing at alarming rates.Faculty from the University of Michigan School of Nursing’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health discuss why the pandemic has hit people with substance abuse problems especially hard and the expanded role of virtual recovery programs.

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Barriers to addiction care fell because of COVID-19, experts say; now the challenge is keeping them down

The opioid epidemic didn’t go away when the coronavirus pandemic began. But rapid changes in regulations and guidance could also help many more people get care for addiction, experts say. They caution that it will take more changes to truly lower barriers that stand in the way of delivering evidence-based addiction care to more people via telemedicine.

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Medication Treatments Led to 80 Percent Lower Risk of Fatal Overdose for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder than Medication-free Treatments

Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) receiving treatment with opioid agonists (medications such as methadone or buprenorphine) had an 80 percent lower risk of dying from an opioid overdose compared to patients in treatment without the use of medications.

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Battling treatment resistant opioid use disorder

Similar to treatment resistant depression, there is a subpopulation of those addicted to opioids who do not respond to standard opioid use disorder (OUD) treatments. In a new paper, an addiction expert at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis suggests a new category for these types of patients: treatment resistant opioid use disorder (TROUD).

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UCI researchers identify a connection between early life adversity and opioid addiction

Individuals with a history of early life adversity (ELA) are disproportionately prone to opioid addiction. A new UCI-led study reveals why.

Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the study titled, “On the early life origins of vulnerability to opioid addiction,” examines how early adversities interact with factors such as increased access to opioids to directly influence brain development and function, causing a higher potential for opioid addiction.

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Opioid Dependence Found to Permanently Change Brains of Rats

Approximately one-quarter of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, with five to 10 percent developing an opioid use disorder or addiction. In a new study, UC San Diego researchers found that opioid dependence produced permanent changes in the brains of rats.

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FAU and Georgia State Partner to Assist Children and Families Affected by Addiction

FAU and GSU have partnered on a program to assist children and families affected by addiction. They have received a $2.64 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a program aimed at improving outcomes of Georgia’s children and families and strengthening the partnership between the Division of Family and Children Services and family treatment courts.

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