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Expanded Access To Opioid Addiction Treatment Is A Moral Imperative

With increased effort to bring attention to the Maine opioid addiction epidemic, the media have turned their attention to the importance of having more physicians to offer Suboxone as the best option when it comes to treating addiction. Research and scientific evidence shows that combined with counseling, buprenorphine has many key outcomes. For instance, it leads to reduce relapse rates and also has reported a higher rate of return to work. According to a recent study, over two millions across the United States have successfully completed training that will help them to administer this drug.

What is troubling, however, is the realization that these numbers are not always a reflection of the efforts that are ongoing to address this issue or the range of barriers. For instance, the patients are left in a difficult situation because even though they are required to access the drugs through primary care practice, it is increasingly becoming difficult to maintain a relationship with primary care providers. This is even harder in the rural communities that form a large part of the state. Therefore, there should be a way to better primary care before placing huge expectations on it. There also should be payment methods that reflect the real value of their services.

It also is important to note that stigma and bias have made it a huge challenge for various practices to provide such treatment. The addiction epidemic that has remained rampant across the communities does not help either. Reading through some of the public comments about this issue, one cannot help but notice the increased stigma associated with addition. The worst part is that most of these commenters are misinformed and have no idea of how the situation is affecting people of all types across Maine. There are other barriers that include the lack of proper medical insurance among others.

But even as these challenges make the situation eve harder, there are various efforts that are already underway in Maine. There are plans to increase the number of providers that will help to offer the treatment. Adult primary care practices have not been left behind in the efforts either. It is a comprehensive plan that will ensure that anyone who wants to recover from addiction gets the services that will make the process easy. With many options coming up and various people showing interest to support through funding and other options, there is no doubt that this is going to bring down the addiction rate in Maine, if it is followed later. However, the challenges need to be addressed extensively.

There already is a robust program that offers treatment and rehabilitation to about 200 patients I the Eastern Maine Health System’s EMMC. They are also working with the greater Portland health plans to ensure that the give treatment to those addicts who are uninsured. Clearly, lack of a proper medical cover is one of the reasons why some of these addicts opt not to see treatment in the first place yet it is a common fact that they desperately need it to turn around their lives.


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