Inpatient Treatment for Heroin Abuse Would be Funded Under Proposed House Bill

A bill introduced this week in the U.S. House would establish a federal grant program to fund inpatient treatment for heroin abuse, the Hartford Courant reports.

The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act is designed to increase access to inpatient drug treatment services for heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, its sponsors say. Under the bill, states could apply for grant funding to provide up to 60 days at a residential facility for people who do not have health insurance, or whose plans do not cover inpatient addiction treatment.

The bill was introduced by Representative Bill Foster of Illinois and Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, both Democrats. “The heroin and prescription drug epidemic is ripping apart families and our communities, but tragically, many folks face too many hurdles to access treatment,” Maloney said in  news release. “The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act will help turn the tide on the epidemic by expanding treatment options for our neighbors.”

Full story of house bill for heroin abuse treatment at drugfree.org

Study: Heroin Addiction Treatment Should Include Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy

Treatment for heroin addiction is most effective if it includes both inpatient and outpatient therapy, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center compared two groups of patients addicted to heroin: those who started buprenorphine treatment while in the hospital and then were referred directly to an outpatient buprenorphine treatment program, and patients who took a tapered dose of buprenorphine in the hospital to help with withdrawal, but only received referral information about local community treatment programs. Buprenorphine is an opioid substitute used to treat opioid addiction. It helps curb opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Full story of heroin addiction treatment therapy at drugfree.org

Heroin Users Are Older, Whiter, More Suburban Than in the Past: Study

Heroin users are much more likely to be older, whiter and suburban compared with 50 years ago, a new study concludes. They are almost evenly split between men and women, The Washington Post reports. Fifty years ago, 83 percent of those seeking treatment for heroin use were men.

In 2010, three-quarters of people who used heroin did so after abusing prescription opioids, the researchers wrote in JAMA Psychiatry. In the 1960s, more than 80 percent of people seeking treatment said heroin was the first opioid they had used. The findings come from a survey of patients in 150 treatment programs around the nation.

Full story of demographic heroin users at drugfree.org

New York Senator Requests $100 Million in Federal Funding to Curb Heroin Trade

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is asking the federal government to allocate $100 million to curb the heroin trade in his state. Seizures of heroin in New York this year have already surpassed those of any previous year since 1991.

Schumer wants the money to be given to the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, according to the New York Daily News. The program will help law enforcement authorities in New York and New Jersey better assess the region’s heroin trafficking patterns, he said. Schumer also hopes the funds will help local and federal agencies to share information.

Full story of the funding to curb the heroin trade at drugfree.org

Ohio Prisons Filled with People Addicted to Heroin and Painkillers: Official

Prisons in Ohio have a large population of people addicted to heroin and painkillers, an official told the state Senate Finance Committee this week.

State Prisons Director Gary Mohr said judges send offenders to prison after they relapse several times, the Associated Press reports.

“They kept coming back, and at some point in time, judges said, ‘I have to vacate this probation and send you to prison,’” Mohr said.
Mark Schweikert, Director of the Ohio Judicial Conference, agreed judges are sending some drug-addicted people to prison in an effort to save them. “They continue to use and the only way they can keep the person drug-free for a considerable period of time is send them to prison.”

Full story of prisons and drug addiction at drugfree.org