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2-May-14 9:45 AM  CST  

Health and Human Services Leaders Want To See An Expanded Use Of Medications To Help Opioid Overdose Problems 

Leaders of the Health and Human Services Department are calling for the expanded use of prescription drugs used in the treatment of opioid overdose. The leaders are calling for the use of drugs such as methadone, burprenorphine, and naltrexone as they are considering these drugs safe and effective in the treatment of opioid addition.

            “When prescribed and monitored properly, medications such as methadone, burprenorphine, or naloxone are safe and cost-effective components of opioid addiction treatment. These medications can improve lives and reduce the risk of overdose, yet medication-assisted therapies are markedly underutilized,” according to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., and author of the latest study in the New England Journal of Medicine discussing drug overdose.

            Health and Human Services leaders want patients to know that these drugs can be helpful to those in need of drug therapy for addiction. Below is some important news about drugs used to treat a serious drug problem: 


  • Methadone. Methadone is usually prescribed in clinics, but can also be prescribed by public and private doctors who see the need for such drug treatment.  Some individuals out of the healthcare sector believe Methadone is treating one drug problem for another.  There are still mixed reviews on the subject, but many healthcare providers see the drug as a way of treating a more serious drug addiction.
  • Naltrexone. Naltrexone is now available in a once-a-month injectable and long acting form medication. 


            Drug addiction can be cured with the proper knowledge and education of these medications. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can arm themselves with this knowledge so they can better educate their patients and customers about drug addiction treatment options.



1. National Institutes of Health Press Release. “HHS Leaders Call For Expanded Use Of Medications To Combat Opioid Overdose Epidemic.” National Institutes Of Health. Web. Date of Access: 28 Apr 2014.


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Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly

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