In a world in which substance use disorders are no longer suffered in isolation, treating addiction is a challenging journey with obstacles, intermittent failures, and life-altering successes. A poem on drug withdrawal expressed through the eyes of a fellow in addiction medicine.
In the US, 38,000 drug overdose deaths occur per year, and it is estimated that 75% are opioid-related. The good news is that addiction is a treatable disease. More in this discussion of opioid addiction, the use of naloxone, and Good Samaritan laws.
While regulatory controls on methadone clinics for opioid dependence resulted in treatment being physically and functionally isolated from conventional medical care, the delivery of an office-based treatment of buprenorphine and the buprenorphine/naloxone combination product over the last decade has facilitated the return of treatment to “mainstream medicine both for psychiatry and primary care."
Members of the military returning from combat operations have high rates of substance abuse. They also often exhibit a co-occurring triad of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and pain, which complicates the problems with substance abuse.