America is seeing a “significant” decrease in prescription opioid misuse across all age groups, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The total number of individuals with opioid use disorder decreased from 2.1 million in 2017 to 2 million in 2018, thanks in part to a national effort to combat addiction and the opioid crisis.
Recently, SAMHSA launched a new website called findtreatment.gov. Users put in their zip code and the website shows the closest treatment centers, which insurance they accept and which services they provide.
The Oakland Psychological Clinic on South Saginaw Street is the second center listed at 12.75 miles away. Services provided are substance abuse treatment, outpatient treatment and more. Accepted payments are Medicare, military insurance, private health insurance and more.
“The website is quite nice,” said Candy Gilbert, business director and corporate compliance officer for Perspectives Counseling, Oakland Psychological and Heron Ridge clinics, which are owned by Refresh Michigan. “I love the way it’s laid out, what the treatment modality looks like. It looks like a comprehensive website, which is wonderful.”
The site also has links to SAMHSA, which has a lot of information on substance abuse and mental health.
In Oct. 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
“The presidential mandate for it being a national crisis really helped push the topic out into the greater news cycle,” she said.
She also commended Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for being an advocate for substance abuse treatment and creating the Michigan Opioids Task Force.
For decades, mental health and substance abuse have carried a negative stigma, which prevents people from seeking treatment. The cost for treatment is also a barrier.
“If you’re seeking services from a cardiologist, no one says anything about it,” she said. But, with substance abuse and mental health disorders, “people are often treated poorly or with disdain. They don’t want people to know they’re in treatment.”
In all, Refresh Michigan runs 16 locations, including the Oakland Psychological Clinic, in southeast Michigan. They’re outpatient clinics, and in 2018, they performed approximately 98,000 services.
The number of opioid deaths had been rising in the U.S. for a while. In 2016, it claimed the lives of more than 59,000 people. Gilbert said 40 years ago, there were mental health hospitals run by the state but they were shut down.
“Even to find inpatient services is very difficult. I think the government turned a blind eye,” she said.
Gilbert thinks the government is paying more attention now because the crisis is affecting the medical community more and more. People end up in hospitals because of overdoses, and whenever there’s a mass shooting, mental health is again put into the spotlight.
“There’s not a person on the planet that can say they didn’t know someone who suffered from something. We all struggle with different things at different times,” she said.
Holy Cross Services in Flint Township on Miller Road is the closest treatment center. The services listed on findtreatment.gov include substance abuse treatment, treatment for co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders, outpatient treatment and more. Payment methods accepted include Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance and more.
Information from SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Heroin use declined overall from 2016-2018 and especially for ages 18-25.
The use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) increased. The past month, substance use among pregnant women decreased compared to 2017. However, there was an overall increase over the past three years, particularly with the use of marijuana.
Marijuana use among young people increased year-over-year, and the prevalence of marijuana use disorder in 18- to 25-year-olds increased from 5.1 percent in 2015 to 5.9 percent in 2018.
There was a significant increase in methamphetamine use among adults older than 26 years old. Serious mental illness is rising among adolescents and adults.