SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Health, a leading national licensed provider of behavioral health treatment services, announces a new editorial in the Los Angeles Times from Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Tonmoy Sharma. The editorial, "Is it really possible to fight addiction with medication?" focuses on the opioid addiction epidemic throughout the United States and the effectiveness of using medication-assisted treatments, which include a combination of counseling, behavioral therapy and expertly prescribed medicines. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in America, overtaking traffic fatalities at the beginning of this decade. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides last year. To read the full article, click here.
As noted in the article, treatment experts are seeking more sophisticated solutions. Medication-assisted treatment is emerging as a powerful tool to combat addiction. "This is a brain illness. Let us treat it with the respect it deserves and let us treat the illness like we treat the rest of medicine: in a manner that encompasses medication and non-medication modalities," said Dr. Sharma.
The editorial points out that medication-assisted treatment uses prescription medicines such as buprenorphine and methadone to prevent cravings for commonly abused opiates like heroin. "Assisted" is the operative word, as prescribed medicines are strictly used in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. By curbing the pains of addiction withdrawal, the medicines can perform their most valuable role in addiction treatment and help patients safely and more comfortably manage drug and alcohol withdrawals.
"With opiates, we've got opiate receptors in our gut, and that's why people vomit quite a lot when withdrawing," Dr. Sharma said. "You can decrease the discomfort of this [with medicine]. So medication can be helpful in the detoxification stage, easing cravings and other physical symptoms that often trigger a relapse episode."
Sovereign Health, licensed to treat both mental health and substance abuse, operates nine treatment facilities in five states: California, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah. Sovereign's facilities are licensed in accordance with the regulations of the states where the facilities are located. In addition, Sovereign's facilities have been awarded Gold Seal accreditation by The Joint Commission, the highest level of accreditation available in the behavioral health field.
About Sovereign Health
One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been the company's ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. Patients seek the services of Sovereign Health to receive treatment for mental health issues, including trauma, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Sovereign also offers treatment for cognitive deficits and eating disorders. For more information, visit www.sovhealth.com.