Findings “published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment by researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions, offer support for a wider use of medications that may help reduce or prevent substance abuse and related hospital admissions.”
Several medications that reduce the pleasurable feelings that drugs and alcohol produce are underutilized because they do, in fact, reduce the pleasurable feelings that drugs and alcohol produce and patients stop using them. However, one of these medications, Naltrexone, has been found to be very effective when administered once a month by injection in a medical setting. A press release from Oregon State University about the effectiveness of monthly injections of Naltrexone notes that “health and prescription drug coverage that is now being made available through the Affordable Care Act..may make such medications available to (more) people” and help to achieve important health and cost-containment goals such as reducing hospital admissions.
The OSU report explains that a “new meta-analysis combined findings from five other papers, comprising a total of 1,565 patients who received extended-release Naltrexone compared to other therapies for six months, among nearly 60,000 overall patients” and found that, “that even though extended-release Naltrexone is expensive – about $1,100 a month – the total health care utilization and costs were generally lower for patients taking it, compared to those using other alcohol-dependence treatments.” The savings can about because patients utilized fewer days of detoxification and inpatient facility care.
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