Medicaid Spending on Opioid Addiction Treatment Has Risen Dramatically: Report

A new report finds spending on Medicaid-covered prescriptions for the treatment of opioid use disorder and opioid overdose increased dramatically between 2011 and 2016, according to NPR. The largest increase occurred after 2014.

The report by the Urban Institute found between 2011 and 2016, Medicaid spending on opioid use disorder treatment prescriptions for buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone increased 136 percent, from $394.2 million to $929.9 million. Most of the money went to buprenorphine (sold as Suboxone), for which spending increased 98 percent between 2011 and 2016, from $380.9 million to $753.9 million.

Full story of risen Medicaid spending on opioid addiction treatment at drugfree.org

Vermont Program Offers Vivitrol to Departing Inmates to Fight Heroin Addiction

Vermont is starting a pilot program this month that will offer the opioid addiction treatment Vivitrol to departing inmates at one correctional facility. If it is successful, the state plans to expand it to all seven of the state’s prisons, CBS News reports.

“Let’s start providing treatment and medicines that can actually get people back to productive lives,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said. In 2014, Shumlin devoted his State of the State Message to what he called Vermont’s “full-blown heroin crisis.” The number of people in the state who have been treated for heroin abuse has quadrupled in the past decade, the article notes.

Vermont’s pilot program will be funded as part of a three-year, $3 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Vivitrol can cost more than $1,000 a month, but many insurance companies and Medicaid cover it, according to the article.

Full story of Vivitrol and fighting heroin addiction at drugfree.org