Opioid Overdose Deaths and Relapse are Preventable, The Science Already Exists, Frontline Report Affirms

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — May 9 – May 15th is National Prevention Week, an effort to increase public awareness and action around substance use and mental health. On the heels of CDC’s provisional data, that more than 87,000 Americans died from drug overdose in the year ending September 2020, the need for awareness and action is timely and critical.

New Leaf Detox and Treatment in San Juan Capistrano, CA has published a frontline report for those grappling with opioid use disorders, their families, and the media.  A Mosaic of Loss & How To Stem Opioid Relapse and Drug Overdose Deaths  is both an elegy to the 87,000 Americans who died of an overdose last year, and an educational resource for lay people about evidence-based addiction treatment, relapse prevention, and overdose reversal.

The number of opioid overdose deaths in 2020 is staggering, the highest since the early 1990s. “Before fentanyl, street drugs were sold and ingested in grams. It was common for people to ingest 1 to 3 grams of heroin daily, without overdosing or dying. Now opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil are sold and used in micrograms because they’re so potent. One microgram is one millionth of a gram. People are dying using 2 to 5 micrograms of fentanyl that cost $5,” says Josh Hamburg, Executive Director of New Leaf Detox & Treatment. 

The risk of dying from opioid use is so high, the margin of error million times smaller.  During an overdose, respiratory malfunction can quickly lead to cardiac arrest, brain damage, and death. Naloxone, the overdose reversal medication, restores and normalizes breathing and heart rate, if given in time. “Naloxone saves lives. Everyone should carry it, as they do cellphones to call 911,” Hamburg says. “Every patient who leaves our facility is given a pack as a safety measure,” he said.

The frontline report also gives a comprehensive review of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), its rare use in addiction treatment, and the need for access and affordability to MAT.  Data shows that patients on Medication-Assisted Treatment are 75% less likely to die from their addiction compared to those who do not receive those medications.

Leading medical authorities and associations support MAT, but its use is not common in treatment facilities. A 2020 JAMA Network study found that of 232,000 patients in treatment, only 34,000 received MAT. New Leaf is one of a small but growing number of treatment centers nationwide that offers multiple MAT plans.

“Before the advent of insulin in 1922, diabetes treatment in the previous 100 years included blood letting, blistering, and starvation diets of 400 calories a day. Many people died.  We’re at a similar inflection point with the opioid epidemic. We need to raise public awareness of Medication-Assisted Treatment and overdose reversal medication,” Hamburg said.

To read or download the report, please visit https://nldetox.com/mosaic-of-loss-opioid-relapse-overdose/

To learn more about New Leaf Detox & Treatment, please visit www.nldetox.com



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