In a study conducted by Dr. Scott G. Weiner, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts, one in ten Massachusetts patients who were saved from an overdose by the lifesaving drug Narcan went on to die within a year. The study followed what happened to thousands of patients who received the drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan.
Although all the individuals in the study were successfully revived, a high percentage later died. It is speculated, that this was due to the fact that the underlying substance use disorder, for these individuals went untreated.
Weiner who heads the hospitals Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Program said his research shows that,” Naloxone is a Band-Aid and not a cure.” “It’s not going to work if we just give Naloxone. We need to get them (patients) to the next step. Hospitals should provide medication to treat addiction and immediately link to ongoing care in the community.” According to Weiner, Patients may be given a list of phone numbers of treatment centers but not much more. He believes it is important to get people engaged in treatment soon as possible after they have been saved.
Weiner states that he tells patients they have a one in ten chance of dying in a year if they do not get treated and that message is powerful. Although Dr. Weiner’s findings are troublesome there is some good news. According to the Surgeon General’s report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health there are reasons for hope and optimism. One clear conclusion is that addiction to alcohol or drugs is a chronic but treatable brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgment. Effective treatments for substance use disorders are available and evidence based treatment-both medications and behavioral therapies-can save lives and restore people’s health, well-being and functioning.
New Bridge Foundation utilizes evidence-based practices in all of its programs. We are highly skilled and knowledgeable in treating addiction drugs and alcohol including opiates. Call 866-772-8491 for a free, confidential assessment.