Many More People Seek Medical Help For Opioid Abuse
Many More People Seek Medical Help For Opioid Abuse

Many More People Seek Medical Help For Opioid Abuse

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August 4, 2017


Health care claims for people with opioid dependence diagnoses rose more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to an analysis of insurance records.

The findings illustrate that the opioid problem is "in the general mainstream," says Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a nonprofit that analyzes health care costs and conducted the study.

The researchers used de-identified claims data from insurers representing 150 million patients who either have insurance through work or buy coverage on their own. They looked for diagnosis codes related to opioid dependency and abuse, adverse effects of heroin use or problems caused by the misuse or abuse of other types of opiates, including prescription drugs.

They found that health care costs related to opioid dependence increased most sharply since 2011, a period marked by increased attention to the problem and a growing pressure on physicians to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions.

Younger patients ages 19 to 35 were most likely to be diagnosed as opioid dependent. Dependence is defined by symptoms such as increased tolerance, withdrawal or unsuccessful attempts to quit.

Those younger patients were also more likely than older ones to overdose on heroin. The reverse was true for overdoses related to other types of opioids, which were more common in people in their mid-40s to mid-50s.

The number of medical services such as office visits and lab tests for patients with a dependency diagnosis rose from about 217,000 in 2007 to about 7 million in 2014.

"A 3,000 percent increase is enormous," says Andrew Kolodny, senior scientist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He did not work on the study.

Such a sharp rise over a short period of time is a classic definition of an epidemic, Kolodny says, and one that points out that much more effort is needed to prevent future cases and treat people who already have addiction problems.

Still, basing an analysis solely on insurance claims data, while common, may not paint a complete picture. The accuracy of billing codes may be poor, for example. In this case, increased attention to the opioid problem may have also resulted in an increased use of related codes. Some research studies also pair claims data with medical record information, which includes doctors' notes. This study did not.

Other findings include:

  • Across all age groups, men were more likely than women to be diagnosed with dependency. That gap narrowed among patients in their 40s and 50s, with women representing 45 percent of those diagnosed.
  • Women were more likely than men to overdose.
  • The ratio of opioid dependence to other substance abuse problems varied by state. Rhode Island had the highest ratio of opioid problems, while Maine and Montana had the lowest.

Kolodny is among those who say that the increase in addiction is directly tied to the run-up in opioids prescribed by doctors in the past decade. Some of those who develop dependency problems are the patients who get the prescriptions. But many also obtain the drugs illicitly, from a friend, family member or dealer.

Younger people, says Kolodny, may start with prescription medications but then turn to street drugs like heroin because they have "a harder time maintaining their opioid supply by visiting doctors."

Older patients, he says, are less likely to turn to street drugs because they have an easier time getting refills from their doctors.

Data from IMS Health, which tracks prescription drug sales, shows the number of prescriptions for opioid-based drugs have ticked down, falling 11.8 percent from 2012 to 2015. That decline, however, followed a huge increase: The number of opioid prescriptions more than doubled between 2000 and 2012, when more than 282 million prescriptions were written.

In 2014, federal health officials reclassified certain drugs containing the opioid hydrocodone, including Vicodin, making refills harder to get.

In addition, many states have begun prescription monitoring programs, which aim to identify and track people who are "doctor shopping" in order to get multiple prescriptions for narcotics. Pharmacists or physicians can check those databases to see if a patient already has a prescription for narcotics before dispensing another.

In 2001, only 16 states had laws allowing monitoring programs. By 2012, 41 states were operating one, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

"There's some evidence that those are helpful in reducing prescribing," says Allan Coukell, senior director for health programs at Pew. But he added that treatment options are still lacking. "The reality is, even in states that have done that, demand is far in excess of what they can provide."

In mid-July, President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addition and Recovery Act of 2016, which aims to make prevention and treatment more widely available.

Supporters say the legislation will help, but criticized lawmakers for not including more funding.

The data from Fair Health, Coukell says, show the scope of the problem.

"What this tells you is this is not limited to a problem of the poor and unemployed," he said. "This is a problem that is cutting right across society."

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    With regard to lower again ache remedy, it's hypothesized that when injected into a degenerated disc, stem cells may flip into cartilage cells and
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    Blanco, J. F. et al. Isolation and characterization of mesenchymal stromal cells from human degenerated nucleus pulposus:
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    This therapy does not include the use of embyronic stem cells and should not be confused with platelet wealthy plasma (PRP).

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    From eleven years of scientific expertise, I have by no means seen a affected person with extreme
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    MSc Cells for Herniated,Bulging or Desiccated Lumbar Discs.
    Dr Sakai is each an lively researcher and spinal orthopaedic surgeon and presently
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    Sadly, many sufferers diagnosed with degenerative disk illness don't absolutely
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    This improper alignment causes the side joints - the areas
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    Figure 5: Publish-surgical IVD degeneration is a potential indication for cell therapy.

    Stem cells can work in two methods and these are in preventing additional degeneration and probably renewing the
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    Scientific Research with Stem Cells and Disc Degeneration. Dr.

    Scott Brandt, medical director of Colorado's ThriveMD,
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    There may be evidence of security and feasibility in the therapy of
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    We're conducting medical analysis that's supported
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    Prognosis of aspect pain begins with a bodily exam and imaging
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    The data that's necessary here is the tried and true Oswestry
    Disability Index” or ODI. This take a look at, which now we
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    here with the acquisition of an organization in the Netherlands
    known as NovioGendix. TIE2-ANG-1 signalling is thought to regulate the progenitor-cell niche in the human IVD.

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    Regenexx is the one stem cell therapy community to publish one of these analysis of patient stem cell procedure consequence data.

    All tissues break down and are repaired by restorative cells.
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    Despite a large variety of preclinical studies and preliminary scientific investigations,
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    Minimally-invasive, out-patient procedure the place your individual grownup stem cells are harvested and injected into the broken joints to
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    Under normal circumstances these tissue stem cells,
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    If you want to make ssure if you're an excellent candidate for this process, go to a dependable and succesful Phoenix stem cell therapy center.
    In keeping with research, adult stem cells
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    Mesoblast's MPC-06-ID Section 3 program targets a
    patient inhabitants with significant unmet need who have exhausted conservative
    remedy options. Orthopedics 2.0 - How Regenerative Medication and Interventional Orthopedics
    will Change Every thing.

    Stem cells can then be used to help regenerate damaged or injured
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    The stem cell remedy process utilized by the Prairie Spine and
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    Ms. Comella plans to continue her work with SVF, which has consistently repeated its sturdy security profile and success in treating sufferers.

    Cultured fat cells from cellulite are utilized in more debilitating situations as these cells are 1000x more
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    He makes use of Stem Cell Remedy, Platelet Wealthy Plasma Therapy and Prolotherapy,
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    stem cells to act because the restore system for the body and are an necessary part of our immune system.
    Mechanical overloading of the IVD has been proven to induce catabolic
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    Some considerations that won't make stem cells perfect for you
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    Atlantic Backbone Middle is proud to supply
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    He teaches at UCLA, and trained there with Board Certification in Physical Drugs and Rehabilitation. Still, even if the trial succeeds, MPC injections is not going to
    be the answer for all patients. Both differentiation and RT-PCR exams demonstrated that AFSCs had the most effective stem-cell-like traits within the human degenerative intervertebral disc.

    Platelets are chargeable for the initiation of clotting, but additionally the initiation of therapeutic.
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