Pacific Pain Care Shares Thoughts on the Opioid Crisis and Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T) for Opioid Use Disorder

Pacific Pain Care Shares Thoughts on the Opioid Crisis and Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T) for Opioid Use Disorder

Press Release ( - CORONA, Calif. - Nov 13, 2018 - Dr. Banerjee first explained the five-point strategy of the government and then focused on reiterating that addiction is a disease that can be due to genetics or external factors.

As many kids and youngsters are being impacted by opioid addiction these days, Pacific Pain Care, Corona Doc Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee stresses that parents need to play an active role in controlling addiction. Talking about the importance of medically assisted addiction treatment, Pacific Pain Care, Corona Doc Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee said that FDA approved medications can and have reduced dependencies on certain drugs and minimized relapses or withdrawal symptoms. If thousands have benefited from this method, there is no reason the next addiction would also not benefit from it. Though staying on the path of recovery can often be tough according to Corona Doc Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee, he stresses on the importance of being under the eye of a real expert to avoid bouncing back to the bad addiction habits.

The opioid crisis is one of the most troublesome problems that affect the present and future of America. Corona Doc, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee who founded Pacific Pain Care Consultants and is Board Certified both in Pain Management and Addiction Medicine with extensive experience in medically assisted addiction treatment recently shared thoughts on how the opioid crisis and availability of Medically assist treatment is affecting his patient population. He explains why this crisis is not controlled easily and what the government is trying to do to manage this situation.

Not many people are aware that the federal government has already developed a five-point strategy to combat the opioid epidemic and the Opioid Crisis response Act of 2018 has passed through the Senate.

Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee

oard Certified both in Pain Management and Addiction Medicine

Citing the appreciable steps that are already taken by the federal government, Corona Doc, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee said “The President, Donald Trump has already declared the issue to be a Public Health Emergency. Many Governors of individual states hardest hit have declared “a state of Emergency” to combat the crisis in their respective states. State and federal governments have put many plans in place to control this epidemic and reduce its impact. Not many people are aware that the federal government has already developed a five-point strategy to combat the opioid epidemic and the Opioid Crisis response Act of 2018 has passed through the Senate.”

Taking about the five-point strategy, Corona Doc, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee said “The first point is to improve the accessibility of treatment and rehabilitation services, the second is to promote the use of drugs that can reverse overdose, the third is to strengthen public understanding of this epidemic via improved public health surveillance, the fourth is to support research on reducing addiction and pain and the fifth is to advance better practices in the first place to ensure pain management and its reduction.”

Dr. Banerjee goes on to explain “Addiction is a disease, it is not a moral failing. If one of your parents was an addict the chances of you developing an addiction is 7-8 times that of the general population”. “Overall in the literature it is found that 50% of your risk of becoming addicted is genetic predisposition and 50% is from environmental factors like friends, family, relations, job, stress, location, living circumstances, coexisting mental health issues, history of physical/mental abuse, socio-economic status and presence or lack of opportunities.”

Sharing that parents need to play their role in making kids aware about the opioid crisis, Corona Doc, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee said “Research recently published in the journal Pediatrics has revealed that the number of children who were admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose was 797 between 2004 to 2007 but this number doubled to 1504 between 2012 to 2015. The parents need to control the opioid crisis by making sure that the kids are aware of the lethal side effects of such abuse. The parents also need to ensure that the kids don’t get access to the parents’ medications accidentally.”

Dr. Banerjee goes on to say “People throw terms around like dependency, recreational use, abuse, misuse, and addiction as if they all meant the same thing. Each of these words in Addiction Medicine has a different meaning, and they are not interchangeable. Someone with dependency may not be an addict. Any human or animal if given opioids regularly for a long period (weeks to months) will develop a physical dependency to the medications and if abruptly stopped will show signs of withdrawals. This is a physiological response across all species. This is analogous to someone taking Lisinopril for their hypertension or Insulin for their diabetes, and if abruptly stopped they will have physiological consequences. The individual cannot control their physiological response to medications that are stopped abruptly.”

Dr. Banerjee feels “The best way to determine if someone is an addict is to try and assess if their use of a medication or substance continues despite it causing the individual persistent, significant and obvious harm. When this happens, the patient must be made to realize this either through friends, family, social services, Physicians, counselors, the courts that their substance use is resulting in harmful consequences. Some examples of harmful consequences include- getting fired from a job, a breakdown in interpersonal relationships, problems with the law, engaging in risky behaviors, violent or aggressive behavior, social isolation, and an obsession with getting their next dose of medications while ignoring other responsibilities the person may have to their family and society. At this point, their substance use is causing more harm than good, and an Intervention is in order.”

When someone has been identified as an addict, what can be done? Dr. Banerjee states “addiction if left untreated has severe consequences both for the addict and their family including the death of the addict.” “If someone is truly addicted and cannot stop their medication use and also engages in dose escalation, dose supplementation, obtaining additional medications illicitly or switching completely to illicit drugs then the outlook is grim without active treatment. Addiction treatment saves lives.”

Dr. Banerjee believes in medication-assisted treatment as he and others in this field have seen the best results with this. “Some people (very few) can stop cold turkey, tolerate/deal with the withdrawals and be clean and sober without relapse. This is the minority. Most people either cannot tolerate the withdrawals, therefore, continue using the substance, or even after a short stint in rehab (1-3 weeks) relapse back into their addiction. For long-term sobriety, a combination of medications and outpatient counseling either individually with therapists or in a group setting like Alcoholics Anonymous or in an Intensive outpatient setting (IOP) has the best outcomes in terms of survival rates.”

Patients and families often ask Dr. Banerjee “What is the point of replacing one addictive substance like- oxycodone, Dilaudid, the heroine for another addictive substance like Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv) in a person diagnosed with opioid use disorder? Is this not replacing like for like?”. Dr. Banerjee explains to them that “This type of treatment is called a harm reduction strategy. If the patient continues to use the prescribed or illicit opioids as they currently are the future does not look bright for them. They will probably end up incarcerated or dead. Switching to an FDA approved the medicine for opioid use disorder significantly reduces their cravings, withdrawals, relapse rate and retention in treatment. The medications are also very effective in managing the patient’s pain if they have a dual diagnosis of addiction and chronic pain. Being able to maintain sobriety, have less pain and be able to engage in family and society once again is very beneficial to the addict and is essential when trying to overcome the disease of addiction. The use of these medications increases patient’s long-term survival rate and affords them the opportunity to become a productive member of society again rather than end up in jail or dead. They have the opportunity for a second chance. America is the land of second chances. Shouldn’t everyone be afforded this chance?”

Concluding the discussion Corona Doc, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee highlights what can be done if someone is affected by opioid addiction, “If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids then you should consult with an expert who can offer practical and easily implementable remedies like medically-assisted addiction treatment. These sorts of remedies usually show good results when your care is supervised by a real expert who has helped scores of patients. Stay on the path of recovery and avoid bouncing back to the addiction.”

Source : Pacific Pain Care
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