In 2019, Richmond reported 13 overdose deaths from prescription opioids. An average of 3 Virginia residents died daily of an opioid overdose in 2018, a 12% decrease from 2017.
Doctors in Richmond, situated in Henrico County, wrote prescriptions for opioid pain killers at a rate of 51.3 per 100 residents. The opioid prescribing rate peaked in 2012 with 87 prescriptions per 100 residents and has since declined to a low of 46 per 100 in 2018, a 41% decrease. However, 2019 saw a 11.2% uptick to 51.3 prescriptions per 100. Obviously, a great portion of prescriptions probably went to recurring patients. However, any way a person looks at it, there were close to two hundred thousand bottles of prescription opioids going around in Richmond.
Telehealth is the newest form of opioid addiction treatment. Technology is utilized to enhance accessibility to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT involves the use of medication as well as counseling or behavioral health services to treat addiction.
Telehealth providers tend to prescribe Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone), since i can be dispensed at a pharmacy and taken home by the patient. Suboxone is a safe and effective medication. It curbs cravings and prevents the feeling of fogginess you might get from other medications.
Telemedicine allows patients to track their symptoms and how they’re feeling throughout each day, with that information then instantly sent to their medical providers, allowing clinicians to provide the highest level of support to patients in-the-moment.
Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, involves living in a treatment center for a prolonged period of time. The length of your stay would be determined by you and your care team, but tends to range from 30-90 days. Since treatment costs also include room and board, this tends to be an expensive form of treatment.
You may also need to take time off work or arrange for childcare while you are away. During your stay, you will have 24/7 care and support. This results in a very high level of care. You will detox from opioids under the supervision of your care team, then you might spend the rest of your stay working on building the tools you need to prevent relapse.
A good resource for inpatient rehab is FindTreatment.gov by SAMHSA. Search for "Residential" Treatment Type.
Outpatient Methadone treatment involves frequently attending a clinic to receive a Methadone prescription. Methadone is a medication used in Medication Assisted Treatment to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is taken once a day under the supervision of a physician. This means that you will have to attend the clinic daily in order to receive the medication.
Treatment tends to last at least a year, but typically longer. Treatment would end with a supervised, gradual taper off the medication. Methadone is also quite addictive itself, which is something to keep in mind. It might be a good option for someone who has been using opioids at a high dose for a long period of time, since it won’t be as drastic a shock to the system.
You can find local methadone treatment options using FindTreatment.gov by SAMHSA. Select "Methadone" under "Medication Assisted Treatment".
Outpatient Suboxone Treatment requires that you frequently attend a clinic to obtain Suboxone. You will start by attending the clinic at least once a week in order to receive treatment. While this is less time consuming than Methadone treatment, it still is a sizable time commitment. As treatment progresses, you may receive longer prescriptions and be required to attend the clinic less frequently. There are, however, no guarantees: it would be up to the discretion of your physician.
FindTreatment.gov by SAMHSA. will help you find local Suboxone treatment options. Select "Buprenorphine" under "Medication Assisted Treatment" and search for local providers.
Statistics: Virginia Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention