Researchers from Yale University wanted to know if treating people with drug addictions as soon as they arrive in emergency care would make a difference in getting them the drug addiction treatment they need. Out of 329 people total the researchers have concluded yes! Treating patients in the ER with the chronic disease of addiction almost always increased the chances of patients enrolling into rehabilitation. According to Health News Florida, the study was conducted at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut only. The chief question surrounding the study was as follows: Can prescribing medicine to alleviate the pain of withdrawal, when coupled with minimal counseling interventions, followed by a reference to an addiction treatment center, make the chances greater for one to get help from an addiction treatment center?
Dr. Gail D’Onofrio thinks it certainly can, and is quoted by Health News Florida, “You can normalize this chronic disease like any other chronic disease,” Although addiction is not typically considered a disease by the masses, the public is slowly beginning to realize the full extent of addiction as a physical and mental disease with the rising nation overdose death rates and candid documentaries and essays written and recorded by those suffering in the throes of addiction.
Over three-quarters of those who participated in the study received medically assisted drug treatment and were given buprenorphine with naloxone. Those patients were provided with a counseling intervention (of about 10 minutes) and a referral to a treatment center; they were successfully enrolled into treatment 30 days later.
37 percent of patients who only received a referral enrolled in treatment 30 days later; 45 percent of patients who were offered a brief counseling session and a referral sought treatment after 30 days. Health News Florida concludes, “Giving patients buprenorphine at the time they are seen in the ER and referred for addiction treatment can make a difference.”