Restorations Therapy Blog

Psychiatric Patients Report Higher Opioid Use Than Previous Years

by on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Psychiatric Patients Report Higher Opioid Use Than Previous Years

In a recent study, the University of Waterloo found that opioid use among patients within psychiatric hospitals is an issue that needs addressing. Mental illness, substance use, and pain all contribute to the higher measures of opioid use among this population, therefore calling for the development of a multi-faceted approach to battle this disturbing trend.

The Numbers

The research shows that between the years 2006 and 2017, opioid use among psychiatric patients before admittance to the hospital was 7.5% out of over 165,000 patients. That equates to over 12,000 patients. Furthermore, among patients with pain issues, that number increased to 22%. In comparison, only 2% of the general population reported opioid use in 2015. 

The Link Between Opioid Use and Pain

It is common to find a patient in psychiatric care who was prescribed an opioid for pain and is also dealing with a substance use issue. The link between opioid use and pain is obvious.

Physicians and healthcare providers prescribe opioids for pain. Furthermore, those using opioids face challenging situations due to their employment or education status.

For example, opiate use is twice as common among those whose jobs or schooling was at risk due to their chronic pain conditions when compared to those whose jobs or schooling was not at risk — 10.5% compared to 5.8%, respectively. 

What’s Next?

Although substance use disorders (SUDs) do not discriminate, the research indicates that many patients who used opiates did not have a significant other, are often young, and more likely to be male than female. The most important step in assessing and addressing the risk of any SUD is creating a cohesive health information system.

This type of system ensures that those getting help have a complete map of their health history and those not getting help can be taken care of to the extent that they require.

What Can You Do?

Research continues to shed light on substance use disorders, and particularly the opioid epidemic impacting the United States and finding an increase in patients in psychiatric hospitals using opioids before admittance is a vital clue in the connection between opioid use and pain.

Furthermore, it indicates a gap in the health system, where there is no integration of the patient’s information to follow a linear timeline of their care and assure that those needing help are getting the appropriate treatment. If a patient sees multiple doctors from different health care networks, they do not know the patient’s previous treatment and must go by their word.

This issue creates a problem that may lead to drug-seeking behaviors and subsequent addictions that go unnoticed.

If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restorations Therapy works with individuals who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma. In order to offer patients a more holistic approach to care,

Restorations Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us today at (720) 446-6585.

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