Tag Archives: SAMHSA

Study Finds Obstacles and Delays to Getting Help for Substance Abuse

When patients with substance abuse disorder visit their doctor’s office or the local emergency room seeking help, finding appropriate treatment for them is challenging in many instances. Physicians and treatment center administrators shared their thoughts about the obstacles and delays to getting help in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Several issues contribute to gaps in patients getting into treatment programs, according to the study conducted by researchers at Brown University and Butler Hospital. The opioid crisis has underlined the gap between the high need for substance abuse treatment and lack of availability to programs in the US.

SAMHSA Report Reveals Shortfall in Substance Abuse Treatment

A report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that 21.7 million people living in the US need substance abuse treatment. Only 2.35 million of them receive the help they need at a facility specializing in providing this type of care. There hasn’t been much information gathered at the organizational level about the barriers to treatment for people seeking help for substance abuse disorders.

Major Obstacles and Delays in Getting Help for Substance Abuse

Researchers interviewed 59 people they referred to as “stakeholders in the treatment referral process”. These included emergency room doctors, addiction specialists, drug and alcohol treatment center staff and administrators. When the interviews were analyzed, four major ideas stood out: 1. Healthcare providers may not be fully aware of scope of treatment options. Providers may not have the knowledge required to determine the best type of treatment for a patient. If a healthcare provider does determine the right treatment level for a patient, he must find a program that is a good match for the patient’s needs. 2. Healthcare providers have difficulty determining patient eligibility. Each treatment center sets its own eligibility requirements, which may prevent a particular patient from receiving needed care. 3. Providers unable to find out whether treatment centers have space available. Once a healthcare provider determines a patient needs treatment, it is challenging for the provider to find out whether the chosen center has a bed available. 4. Communication challenges make referrals from emergency room directly to a treatment bed difficult. Often, there is a delay in starting treatment. Direct referrals, where the patient can be taken directly to the drug and alcohol treatment center, are the best approach, especially for patients needing help for opioid use disorders.
Addiction Treatment Help

Searching for Addiction Treatment Help

Searching for and settling on the right treatment facility can be a daunting task for even the most skilled researchers. There are so many factors that need to be taken into account. How much does the rehab cost? Where is it? Will they accept my insurance? Will they address the other problems in life that may have preceded the drug and/or alcohol use? Currently there are various ways to look for treatment options, with search engines such as Google being the most prominent, but it is mainly left to the family members or the addicts themselves to try and locate something. This can pose a problem for some families and even prevent addicts from getting the help they need if they are met with barriers such as running into predatory call centers, waiting lists, higher than usual financial obligations and more. Earlier this month Google made an unprecedented move in this realm by removing paid ads from many addiction treatment related keywords. The problem, though, is that they also are preventing the good places from being able to advertise there as well. The restriction is reportedly being placed on tens of thousands of keywords and may continue to roll out over time. Aside from going to a search engine, there aren't many known resources that people can call and get help searching for rehabilitation programs and supporting services. One college professor and her graduate research assistant are seeking to change that, starting with compiling a list of all of their local resources. The list encompasses all available treatment options for an addict, including hotlines, prevention services, sober living providers, rehab programs, other medical professionals, and more. The hope is that with one master list, someone searching for help can easily access it, as the goal is to streamline the process. “My hope is that while we’re getting information to learn more about substance abuse and addiction services across [our area], we are also able to capture what the state of mental health resources are and then to provide resources that have been validated and new information,” explained Amitta Parker one of the lead researchers of the project. However, this is just one local area. In order to provide comprehensive help to all of those in need, a nationwide master list would have to be constructed and maintained. This massive undertaking has been attempted by government entities like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), but it is far from complete. In fact, many treatment facilities are left off the list and it is unclear how often the database is updated or what other resources are available as a clearinghouse. The continued loss of lives from addiction makes it clear that we must do a better job connecting up those who are looking for help with the people and places that can provide the services they're looking for. Maybe Google and SAMHSA could start to work together on such a massive project, and learn a thing or two from these local researchers.

Males Twice as Likely to Wind Up in Treatment for Substance Abuse

genderreportOf the many studies and surveys conducted routinely throughout the country regarding drug and alcohol use, one of them includes information on admissions to treatment programs. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) provides a look at statistics related to people seeking rehabilitation services for drug and alcohol abuse.

A recent TEDS report showed that of the nearly 2 million treatment admissions in 2011, two-thirds of them were for males, making them twice as likely as females to be admitted. The numbers seeking help typically reflect the percentage of overall users as well, though there certainly are variations in use patterns among different age groups.

For example, the report stated that the rate of substance abuse for both genders was similar between the ages of 12 and 17. The primary substances used also varied, with alcohol being more prevalent for female teens while marijuana was cited in a greater number of males. A somewhat surprising statistic included that women over the age of 65 were nearly 3 times more likely to abuse prescription painkillers.

Regardless of the gender or substance, Desert Cove Recovery strives to provide excellent treatment for people in Arizona. Clients come from all over the country for this quality treatment program. If you know someone in need of rehabilitation services, contact us today.

Voice Awards Cap off Recovery Month

voiceawards2013The 2013 Voice Awards were held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood last week. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the awards seek to honor community and entertainment leaders for giving a voice to behavioral health recovery.

This year director David O. Russell was presented with the career achievement award, who has been at the helm of many notable films including The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook.

Special recognition was also given to Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Representative (Rhode Island), and author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

In the documentary film category, awards were given to Running From Crazy, Of Two Minds and Bill W. Feature film awards went to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Being Flynn and Silver Linings Playbook.

Other categories included television productions and awards were also given to community activists for their efforts to raise awareness and support for recovery.

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. said, “It is more important than ever to raise our voices -- through TV, film and other media – to proclaim that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, that treatment is effective and that people recover."