Access to Opioid Addiction Medication Improves

Two new efforts are underway to give hope to families coping with a loved one with opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is an epidemic throughout the nation and unfortunately, the Blue Water Area has not escaped its grip. 

As of yesterday, one effort is the removal of a prior authorization requirement. In the past, those who were ready to try to kick the habit had to wait to get preauthorization for the withdrawal medication if they were Medicaid recipients, and this waiting period could delay recovery. In a statement from the agency, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health for MDHHS, said that “By eliminating this requirement, medical providers will be empowered to help people begin treatment when they are ready and increase their chances of a successful recovery.” 

The other effort is in the naming of the disease. Opioid addicts are from all walks of life, often starting their addiction with legal treatment for injuries or medical procedures. Some people are more prone to developing an addiction than others, and the MDHHS now refers to the addiction as the opioid use disorder. This simple name change is hoped to help reduce the stigma and encourage people to get the help they need to live in recovery. You will be seeing a statewide multimedia campaign intended to raise awareness and reduce stigma for those seeking help throughout early 2020.

Reporting for WGRT, Kelsie Kaczperski.