(NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla.,) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is targeting the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic through a new IT initiative, a move that Novus Medical Detox director Kirk Burness cites as an important step toward stemming the rising trend of overdose-related deaths. Burness asserts that restricting access to prescription painkillers and promoting safe, effective detox programs can help even high-dosage drug abusers overcome their addictions.
Launched by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, the government initiative is designed to expand and improve access to prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). It will begin with pilot programs in Ohio and Indiana. “We hope these innovative pilots will help usher in an era of ‘PDMPs 2.0’ across the nation to improve real-time data sharing, increase interoperability of data among states and expand the number of people using these important tools,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. (1)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional poisoning caused more deaths than motor vehicle crashes among U.S. adults aged 25 to 64,making it the leading cause of accidental death for that age group. (2) CDC reports also reveal that approximately 100 people die from drug overdoses every day within the United States, with the majority of those deaths being due to prescription drugs; furthermore, the agency found that prescription painkillers killed more people than heroin and cocaine combined. (3)
“The CDC’s prescription drug statistics are truly alarming, and illustrate the extent of the problem within the United States. I applaud the government for stepping up its prescription monitoring programs, and hope that these efforts will help reverse the epidemic,” said Burness. “Limiting access to prescription medications is a critical step;however, it’s equally important for those who abuse prescription painkillers to be able to safely detox from their addiction without becoming reliant on another drug.”
Burness cautions against rapid detox programs and pain clinics, which often prescribe psychotropic or other drugs to address the sideeffects of rapid withdrawal; he notes that this practice can result in the patient becoming dependent on another type of drug. “At Novus, prescription drug detox always begins with a personalized program tailored to the needs of each patient, taking his or her drug history, state of health and other pertinent factors into account,” he explained. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment plan at our center. We provide 24/7 professional medical supervision, and our programs are designed to minimize the discomforts of withdrawal – so patients can safely complete their treatment in a matter of days and return home or enter a drug rehab program.”
Novus specializes in gradual-withdrawal programs, and provides a home-like residential setting. “We offer comfortable shared and private rooms with telephone, TV, DVD player and Internet access. Patients can keep in touch with their family and even conduct work remotely during their stay,” noted Burness. “We believe this atmosphere better prepares patients for returning to their regular lives after treatment. Our services are private and confidential, and our patients consistently remark on the kindness and respect with which they are treated by our staff. I would urge anyone battling prescription drug abuse to seek treatment immediately, before they become another overdose statistic. We’re ready to assist those who wish to undergo prescription drug detox, and we have the experience and expertise to treat high-dosage cases that others aren’t equipped to handle.”
About Novus Medical Detox Center
The Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an in patient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment – putting dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care. For more information on the Novus Medical Detox Center, please visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “New health IT effort aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse to be tested in Indiana and Ohio.” Press release published on HHS.gov; June 21, 2012.<http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/06/20120621c.html>
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).“Unintentional Poisoning Data & Statistics.”Home & Recreational Safety.Updated June 29, 2012; accessed July 13, 2012.<http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Poisoning/data.html>
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses.” Injury Prevention & Control.Updated December 19, 2011; accessed July 13, 2012.<http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief>