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Opioid Overdose Mortality After Inpatient Treatment

Opioid overdose fatalities continue to rise in the United States. This increase is due to the alarming amount of fentanyl brought into the country and mixed in the illegal narcotics supply. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Opioid-involved overdose deaths rose from 21,088 in 2010 to 47,600 in 2017 and remained steady in 2018 with 46,802 deaths. This was followed by a significant increase in 2019 to 49,860 overdose deaths. (DRUGABUSE.GOV)

More than 93,000 people lost their lives in 2020. The Coronavirus hit, and the country saw a record number of deaths due to overdose. We’ve got a crisis on our hands with this epidemic. Prescription opioid abuse affects not only public health but also affects social and economic welfare.

How Will Inpatient Treatment Help You?

Inpatient treatment for opioid addiction does reduce mortality; however, consequently, it can also increase mortality. Individuals do 30 days in a residential rehab facility. During this time, some of them are completely detoxed off of opioids. Being completely detoxed off of them means they have no tolerance. The individual either doesn’t realize their tolerance has dropped, or they just aren’t thinking right. They relapse and try to consume the same amount of opioids as they did before entering treatment. This is too much for their body to handle, and they have a fatal overdose. This scenario happens way too often.

Opioid Relapse After Inpatient Treatment

The rate of relapse for an opioid addict after receiving inpatient treatment is astronomically high. In the study below, 91% of the patients reported a relapse after inpatient treatment for opioid addiction. A study from Columbia University found that people with an addiction to opioids face a high risk of overdose after ending treatment. A lot of people are treated with the medication buprenorphine while in treatment for opioid addiction. However, many discontinue the medication before being discharged. Discontinuing buprenorphine before leaving treatment could be life-threatening due to the high rate of relapse.

Lapse and Relapse Following Inpatient Treatment of Opiate Dependence

The US National Library of Medicine “Lapse and relapse following inpatient treatment of opiate dependence” states:

We conducted a prospective follow-up study of consecutive opiate-dependent patients admitted to a residential addiction treatment service for detoxification. We measured the rate of relapse following discharge and sought to identify factors that were associated with early relapse (i.e., a return to daily opiate use). Follow-up interviews were conducted with 109 patients, of whom 99 (91%) reported a relapse. The initial relapse occurred within one week in 64 (59%) cases. Multivariate survival analysis revealed that earlier relapse was significantly predicted by younger age, greater heroin use prior to treatment, history of injecting, and a failure to enter aftercare. Unexpectedly, those who were in a relationship with an opiate user had significantly delayed relapse. Those who completed the entire six-week inpatient treatment program also had a significantly delayed relapse. To reduce relapse and the associated increased risk of fatal overdose, services providing residential opiate detoxification should prepare people for admission, strive to retain them in treatment for the full admission period, and actively support their entry into planned aftercare to improve outcome. (NLM)

Start Healing for Opioid Dependence at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

People diagnosed with opioid use disorder should consider leaving inpatient treatment on buprenorphine due to the high risk of relapse. However, aftercare is a must, and entering an outpatient program or even an intensive outpatient program could improve long-term recovery. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment. We are the premier medical detox, acute treatment, and stabilization facility on the South Shore. We offer several different programs, and our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on the road to long-lasting recovery. Have you had enough? Are you ready to get your life back? Our addiction specialists are here around the clock waiting for your call.