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Psychology
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Controversy Surrounding Medication Assisted Treatment in Opiate Addiction (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

To show that although medically assisted treatment in opiate addiction presents some challenges, it is still the best option

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Content:


Controversy Surrounding Medication Assisted Treatment in Opiate Addiction
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Controversy Surrounding Medication-Assisted Treatment in Opiate Addiction
The United States has witnessed a surge of opioid dependence that has been termed a pandemic impacting the lives of people of various ethnic backgrounds, age, and economic status (Jones et al., 2018). More than one hundred individuals in the USA lose their lives daily due to opioid overdose (Oyemade, 2015). The application of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been applauded for its success in addressing the challenge of opioid use disorder (OUD). MAT is a regime where medications are combined with counseling and other therapeutic approaches to produce a comprehensive strategy for OUD management. The primary medications that are employed in the treatment of OUD include methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone (Jones et al., 2018). However, medical professionals have to use MAT sparingly in the management of OUD because of possible negative consequences. The reasons why there has not been widespread use of MAT include (i) apprehension concerning involvement with patients who are viewed as difficult, (ii) anxiety over possible adverse impacts on the patients, (iii) fear of clinical facilities being overstretched by individuals seeking MAT, (iv) Not wishing to engage in heightened efforts to gain a waiver to prescribe (Jerry & Collins, 2013).
To gain insight on the functioning of MAT and get an idea why many providers are slow in using of opioids to manage pain, it is necessary to understand the history of opioids in the United States as well as the pathophysiology of opioid use disorder (Patel & Koch, 2018). The United States declared the opioid epidemic a public health agency in October 2017 (Jerry & Collins, 2013), but opioid use has a long history. Using an opioid is linked with the understanding of pain (CDC, 2011). Since 1800, medical practitioners considered pain as part of human life and a result of aging. Since there were no guidelines on the use of opioids and cocaine, there were extended use of these drugs in relieving pains such as diarrhea and toothache. In 1914 the Harrison Narcotic Control Act was enacted due to the proliferation of street heroin abuse, and morphine use promoted by both clinicians and patients to limit the use opiates. Through the 1950s, patients suffering from debilitating ailments such as cancer were encouraged to keep away from opioids as pain relievers leading to under-treatment of pain (Patel & Koch, 2018). However, this trend started changing during the 1990s when there was scientific backup of opiate treatment of pain (Jones et al., 2018). 

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