New treatment could help prevent and heal opioid addiction - - Jackson, MS

New treatment could help prevent and heal opioid addiction

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The stats on opioid overdose are shocking.

"Drug overdose deaths have increased like four times in the last several years," said Dr. W. Lelon Aron, a physician at an addiction treatment center in Jackson called Pathway Healthcare.

Dr. Aron explains the same part of the brain responsible for motivating a person to thrive in their regular lifestyle is what drives an addict to seek out drugs.

"The Limbic area of the brain," said Dr. Aron. "It's in the mid-brain that's responsible for motivating us to seek out food, shelter, friends, family, clothing, sex. All of those motivating factors are located in the same part of the brain where addictive drugs work."

Right now, three million Americans are in treatment for opioid addiction.

Pathway Healthcare currently works with 250 patients.

"Education is probably the biggest factor that I can identify that will improve the future. Not only from a treatment standpoint but from a preventive standpoint," added Dr. Aron.

That education starts with understanding addiction.

PREVIOUS STORY: Mississippi is no exception in the growing opioid abuse problem

"It's not a simple matter of willpower, or simply a behavioral change. It's a brain disease," said Dr. Aron. "It's a very complex problem. We're only now starting to understand some of the chemistry." 

There are new treatments for addiction that help people get back to a normal lifestyle.

Buprenorphine stops withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone blocks receptor sites in the brain so that opiates have no effect.

"Most of the studies indicate that abstinence-based treatment with opiate dependence had a 5-7% success rate. Medication-assisted treatment, when it's done right, can improve that to about 35-40%" said Dr. Aron.

There's been some push-back against Buprenorphine and Naltrexone because many doctors don't like the idea of using medication to treat an addiction to different medication.

PREVIOUS STORY: Authorities investigate apparent opioid overdose death

The Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure voted last Friday to change the rules on the prescription of opiates. 

Mississippi is expected to exceed 200 overdose-related deaths by the end of the year.

To learn more about the Board's new rules, you can go to the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure website

For more information go to the Pathway Healthcare website or call Dr. W. Lelon Aron at 601-957-7343.

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