One Way to Help Stop Drugs in Your Community
When someone’s in the ER to save their life after they overdosed on drugs, it’s the perfect time to get them started on getting the addiction help they need. Hospital ERs aren’t generally set up that way, but I’m hoping that will change once they find out about a study done at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut where getting people into treatment was very successful!
ER visits for drug-related problems increase year after year. From 2004 to 2011 they went up by nearly 130 percent and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) said in 2012 that there are about 1.2 million visits a year – and that’s only for non-medical use of prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, and other pharmaceuticals. In other words, the 1.2 million people who came to the ER who were taking prescription drugs, but didn’t have a prescription for them, or over-the-counter drugs.
And then there are the people who are addicted to prescription drugs and DO have a prescription. And, of course, all the people on street drugs.
You’re talking about millions of people.
At Yale-New Haven they did a study to see how effective it would be to try to get those people into treatment. The study was headed by Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, chief of emergency medicine at Yale’s medical school – which I’m mentioning because she is very active in the field of drug treatment and helps a lot of people!
How Many People Got Treatment After Going to the ER?
Here are the results of the study:
They randomly chose 329 people who were in the ER because of opioids – which includes real opiates like morphine and codeine, which come from poppy plants (they contain opium) and synthetics opiates, like OxyContin, which are made in a lab.
They divided those 329 people into three groups.
- The first group received buprenorphine and naloxone to help them with withdrawal symptoms.
- The second group received the medication and a referral to treatment.
- The third group received the medication, the referral and a counseling intervention, which only last about 10 minutes.
When they then they followed up with these people, they saw some amazing results:
- Of those who received just the referral, 37 percent were in treatment after 30 days.
- Of those who received the brief counseling intervention and a referral, 45 percent were in treatment 30 days later.
- And a whopping 75 percent of those who got the medication, the referral, and the counseling were in treatment 30 days later.
That’s tremendous. If all hospital ERs did that, we’d get millions of people into treatment every year. That’s one of the most effective methods of getting a LOT of people the addiction help they need.
If you’re interested in helping this along, how about presenting this study to your local hospital. You could help save the lives of people in your community, and greatly reduce the drug problem.