The mayhem caused by opioid addiction in the United States has led to a huge shortage of beds in hospitals and health care centers. While many are losing lives due to drug overdose, others are surrendering to the health consequences of addiction due to lack of treatment. Surveys show that many patients are unable to get treatment due to non-allotment of beds by the hospitals.
To deal with the rising concern, New York has taken a new initiative. The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has removed the cap that limited the health care centers to use only a certain number of beds for detox services. The hospitals are now free to offer beds to patients seeking detox services. “It opens up hospitals to be responsive to the needs of their communities. There are a lot of people who show up in the emergency department, reversed on Narcan, clearly with addiction issues. We want the hospitals to have the full range of options available without any interference from state regulators,” said Robert Kent, general counsel for OASAS.
The waiver is a part of the bigger plan that OASAS has thought of regarding the detox treatment and curbing the opioid crisis. Through the reform, it aims to encourage the hospitals to realize their roles in the treatment process and make efforts to establish a connection with the emergency department and offer detox beds to treat a maximum number of people. Earlier, hospitals, which don’t have a particular license from OASAS, were allowed to provide a limited number of beds for detox purposes. But now, they can offer more beds for someone needing addiction treatment.
Shortage of detox beds discouraging patients
Opioid-involved deaths continue to rise in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of overdose deaths – a whopping 66 percent — involve an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, was five times higher than in 1999. However, several of these deaths could have been avoided had the addicted people received an effective treatment on time.
Currently, the explosion of the opioid addiction has led many hospitals to go full even for the patient admitted to the emergency room. These hospitals not only lack beds but also have insufficient staff and facilities to cater to the large number of addicted patients in need of detox treatment. Various surveys suggest that only a few percentage of people with opioid use disorder (OUD) are able to get proper treatment for their condition. Others are forced to wait for their turn, which often aggravates the condition.
Road to recovery
Coming together to defeat the opioid crisis in the country, health care facilities are working at their level to scale up the resources and potential to cover more people coming in for detox treatment. However, the task seems to be easier said than done as it involves complex logistics and reformation. Therefore, while states and cities are working hard to carve effective ways out, it also becomes every individual’s responsibility to contribute significantly.
One of the major contributions would be to recognize and seek early medical help if experiencing the symptoms of opioid addiction. Seeking timely medical intervention will prevent the aggravation of the condition and also help in attaining an early recovery. If you or your loved one is suffering from an opioid addiction, seek help from the Rapid Detox Helpline for your detox treatment-related queries. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5591 or chat online with our expert to know about one of the best detox treatment centers available near you.