Novus Medical Detox Center Highlights Survey Findings: More Americans Support Detox and Rehab Over Methadone as Treatment for Heroin Addiction

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While many healthcare professionals continue to advocate in favor of methadone treatment for heroin addiction, a new survey reveals that half of Americans agree with Novus Medical Detox Center that eliminating all drug use is a better option.

Novus Medical Detox Center comments on a new survey that reveals half of Americans agree that eliminating all drug use is the better option during treatment for substance abuse.

High-dose methadone ultimately makes the recovery process that much harder for an individual and attempting to withdraw ‘cold turkey’ at that point could kill them.

According to a recent YouGov/Huffington Post survey on heroin addiction treatment, half of all Americans interviewed supported detox and abstinence, while only 19% were in favor of treatment with synthetic opioids like methadone.(1) Although many within the healthcare community advocate for “medically assisted treatment” with synthetic opioids, the survey findings suggest that most Americans concur with Novus Medical Detox Center that detox and abstaining from future drug use is a better approach than prescribing other drugs.

The YouGov/Huffington Post survey presented respondents with two opiate treatment options—one where addicts are provided with FDA-approved synthetic opioids under medical supervision versus one where addicts attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and detox completely from all drugs—and found that more Americans felt detox was the better program. The same poll also revealed that 40% of respondents agreed “synthetic drugs are more dangerous than helpful,” while only 24% opined they were “more helpful than dangerous.”(1)

In a follow-up article to the survey, Huffington Post writers referred to medically assisted treatment with synthetic opioids as “the standard of care for opiate treatment” and derided abstinence as a “broken method.” The article further claimed that 90% of heroin addicts following the abstinence method will relapse, though it didn’t address relapse rates for other methods. (2)

Despite such assertions, Novus’ experience has shown that its detox programs have a high success rate, both among former heroin users as well as those who subsequently become addicted to methadone. “Treating substance abuse with more drugs is not a viable long-term solution, as it often simply replaces one addiction with another,” stated Kent Runyon, Executive Director of Novus Medical Detox Center. He notes that many people develop a tolerance to methadone and other prescription opioids, and have to take increasingly higher dosages to achieve the same effect. “High-dose methadone ultimately makes the recovery process that much harder for an individual and attempting to withdraw ‘cold turkey’ at that point could kill them.”

Runyon maintains that the high relapse rates associated with drug abstinence are not a direct reflection of the approach itself, but are generally due to other factors such as the “hit-or-miss” quality of some detox and drug rehab programs as well as insufficient time devoted to the process. “The fact is that the longer the time a patient spends in rehab directly increases the recovery rate and reduces the relapse rate. There are countless thousands of people who have overcome opiate addiction without touching a single drop of methadone. And as many patients can attest, detoxing from methadone at any dose can be more difficult than trying to get off heroin in the first place,” added Runyon.

Mortality statistics published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that despite a sharp rise in heroin overdose deaths in 2013, twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses as from heroin.(3) Another CDC report analyzed methadone specifically and estimated that some 5,000 people die from methadone-related overdoses each year.(4) Runyon contends that the risk of addiction and overdose from synthetic opioids is a strong argument in favor of drug-free treatment programs.

Rather than treating opiate dependency with methadone, buprenorphine or Suboxone, Novus offers medically supervised detox programs that ease patients through the withdrawal process with natural supplements, nutrient-enriched IV treatments, and 24/7 access to nursing care and withdrawal specialists. The customized treatment programs follow proven medical protocols, and patients who require further support are referred to well-screened, quality drug rehab facilities. For those individuals who attempted prescription opioid treatment only to find themselves dependent on another drug, Novus offers methadone and Suboxone detox programs—and even takes on high-dose cases that other facilities refuse.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center and its opiate/opioid treatment programs, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center is a Joint Commission Accredited inpatient medical detox facility that 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, Florida, Novus is also licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient. By incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment, Novus tailors the detox process for each patient, putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry and their local community, ranking number 48 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 2,936 on the 2014 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1. Moore. Peter. “Poll Results: Heroin” in Huffington Post polls on YouGov; January 20, 2015. today.yougov.com/news/2015/01/20/poll-results-heroin/

2. Grim, Ryan and Ariel Edwards-Levy. “Science Be Damned: Americans Prefer Broken Method Of Heroin Treatment, Survey Finds”; Huffington Post; February 23, 2015. today.yougov.com/news/2015/01/20/poll-results-heroin/

3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overdose Death Rates; February 2015. drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prescription Painkiller Overdoses: Use and Abuse of Methadone as a Painkiller”; CDC Vital Signs; July 2012. cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2012-07-vitalsigns.pdf

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