Barriers to Care: Drug Rehabilitation in Alabama and Florida

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In the substance use disorder treatment context, barriers to care come in many different forms. A barrier to care can be anything that keeps would-be patients away from the treatment they would benefit from. First, I will give some examples of major barriers to care that I talk about all the time. Methadone is an incredibly successful drug for the treatment of opiate use disorder. It is also the opiate use disorder medication that we know the most about, as it has been studied since the 1940s at least. Just last week I wrote about a 15-year study on methadone that was done in New York City starting in the 1980s. That very serious scientific research showed not only how well the medication-assisted treatment works in general, but also silenced at least some of the criticism of methadone. Nearly all people with opiate use disorder are at risk of overdose when they are actively using their drugs of choice. Many studies have shown that there is very little risk of someone with opiate use disorder overdosing on methadone in the context of a medication-assisted treatment regimen. With all that said, in most of the United States, physicians are not allowed to offer their own patients methadone for recovery. For that reason, anyone who cannot go to a methadone clinic each day, for any reason, faces barriers to care. In rural places, this is often not having access to transportation to a clinic every day, or not even having a clinic in driving distance. The best drug rehab in Florida is located in the Florida Panhandle, and it is very near Alabama. This is why I discuss the significant barriers to care faced by people who need drug rehab in Florida and Alabama anywhere near the panhandle because I talk about Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center all the time, and Florida Springs is located in Florida and very near Alabama. They offer many different programs, including medication-assisted treatment with the medication that I will talk about next.

The other drug that has been proven to work for medication-assisted treatment for opiate use disorder is buprenorphine or Subutex. For similar reasons as methadone, people who need treatment with buprenorphine in the United States face significant barriers to treatment. People who live in rural places face even worse barriers to care in the case of buprenorphine than they do in the case of methadone. An extremely limited number of doctors in the United States are licensed to treat patients with buprenorphine, or Subutex. Most of the doctors that do prescribe it are located near population centers, as are most doctors in general. The doctors that prescribe buprenorphine all have incredibly long waiting lists, for the most part. It can take a year or more for a patient to be accepted into the rolls of the very few doctors allowed to prescribe the drug. Patients in rural Alabama who are looking for good drug treatment options will face an even worse situation. Many rural patients will have no doctors who prescribe Subutex near them at all. If you or a loved one is looking for the best drug rehab in Florida or Alabama, Florida Springs offers new treatment programs to all the people near the Florida Panhandle, including all patients coming from the Panama City area, which is where Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery is located.

By Tim Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)