Should Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder be More Personalized?

One of the defining characteristics of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is having an often-insatiable urge to consume alcohol despite the negative consequences being intoxicated causes. Persistent cravings to drink are one of the single largest barriers standing between active drinking and recovery from AUD.  

Acamprostate, sold commercially as Campral in pharmaceutical markets outside of the U.S., is a medication said to reduce, and in certain cases eliminate, cravings to drink. This effect occurs for about 10 percent of patients.  

Doctors from the Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic and Mayo Clinic recently began a study to identify “biomarkers” to predict which patients with AUD would receive the benefits of the acamprostate. Doctors would then be able to prescribe the medication to patients who have the best chances of having a positive response.  

Keeping AUD in Perspective

Even with the dramatic surges in opiate addiction and subsequent deaths during the opioid epidemic, there are still more people in the U.S. with alcohol addictions than there are those with opiate addictions. With an estimated 8.1 million Americans with alcohol use disorder, even a ten percent success rate could help thousands recover.  

“Ten percent is a big number when you look at all the people in this country who have AUD,” said Marvin Seppala M.D., Hazelden Betty Ford’s chief medical officer in a recent interview with Minneapolis news site MinnPost. “We’re aiming to identify exactly who can be helped by this medication. Once we find that out, the doors will open for so many more people.” 

Treatment Options

Medication assisted treatment is a touchy subject in certain sects of the recovery world, especially with prevalence of 12-step, abstinence-based recovery in alcohol and drug treatment facilities. But creating increasingly personalized approaches to treating substance use disorder is becoming common practice.  

If you have trouble controlling your drinking and experience intense cravings during times you are abstinent, there is help. At Blueprint Recovery Center, we offer a full continuum of drug and alcohol treatment, from medical assisted detox to long-term group therapy aftercare. 

The easiest way to recover from alcohol use disorder is to seek help. Call an admissions specialist today at 833-216-3079 to learn about our levels of care and determine which one is right for you. 

Blueprint Recovery Center is a subsidiary of Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, which offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. To learn more visit amatusrecoverycenters.com 

 

Senator Shaheen Proposes Increasing Treatment Spending Tenfold

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced legislation last week that would increase federal spending to combat substance use disorder by 1,000 percent. Congress recently approved for $6 billion to spent over the next two years in response to the opioid crisis, but Shaheen’s bill, if passed, would increase the spending to $63 billion over ten years.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire wants to increase spending to combat opioid addiction from $6 billion over two years, to $63 billion over ten years.

The Opioid Crisis in New Hampshire

“The substance use disorder epidemic is not only the worst public health crisis in our state’s history, it is also the most persistent,” Shaheen said in a prepared statement. “Hundreds of overdose deaths a year in New Hampshire cannot become the norm.”

New Hampshire has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country. At least 470 deaths occurred in the state in 2018, 420 of which from opiate use, and of those, 385 involved fentanyl. The drug death rate in New Hampshire has not been below 400 since 2014.

The Bill’s Details

According to Shaheen’s office, the Turn the Tide Act has three pillars: it delivers flexible funding, prioritizes prevention and addresses workforce challenges.

The bill would increase State Opioid Response (SOR) treatment grants from $1.5 billion per year to $5.5 billion per year over the next five years, boost funding for youth-oriented drug use prevention programming, increase Medicaid payment rates for medical professionals who are treating patients with substance use disorders, and provide $50 million a year to help the treatment workforce pay off their student loan debt.

Blueprint Recovery Center is working hard to combat the opioid epidemic in communities in New Hampshire and around the region. Learn more about our Levels of Care that can support you throughout your journey in recovery. To get help, let go, and let’s chat.

The Importance of Keeping Thorough Patient Records

A New England recovery center in Ellsworth, Maine was forced to shut down recently after operating on a conditional license since Dec. 31.

According to Maine news outlet Bangor Daily News, the Open Door Recovery Center failed to meet numerous regulatory standards required by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. This includes failure to properly conduct background checks on employees and “incomplete treatment plans, patient records that did not document the treatment patients had received and some records that listed treatment for dates before the patients had even been admitted to Open Door programs.”

Like any clinical field, record keeping is paramount in treating addiction.

Tracking your journey in recovery will continue to benefit you, even after you have left your initial treatment.

Keep Thorough Substance Abuse Medical Records

According to Blueprint Recovery Center’s Executive Director, Jonathan Gerson, keeping thorough medical records in healthcare and substance abuse treatment is a crucial element of providing quality care.

“Substance abuse treatment requires a variety of professionals to support the medical, therapeutic, psychiatric and life goals of each patient,” Gerson said. “Accordingly, each professional must detail and communicate the patients observed strengths, weaknesses, successes and set-backs so that each element can work together synergistically.  A patient record in essence is a story of the individual, if the preceding chapter is clouded, the next chapter will follow suit.” 

The Importance of Extended Care

“Success rates in recovery are proven to be at a higher rate when a patient is provided extended care, with the consistency and stability of a singular treatment team,” Gerson said.  “With extended care being the model and aim of Blueprint Recovery Center, it is essential for the payor’s to have detailed patient records so that both the facility and payor can operate in tandem and provide the length of stay needed to properly treat the patient.”

Tracking your journey in recovery will continue to benefit you, even after you have left your initial treatment. Participating in extended care opportunities, including taking residence in community housing or attending group therapy at Blueprint gives clinicians the opportunity to assist you in changing problem patterns and behaviors.

For more on Blueprint Recovery Center’s extended care programs and community housing, let go and let’s chat.