Demand in Tennessee Could Skyrocket with New Opiate Guidelines

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
12/07/2014 -ATIN – Demand for addiction treatment services may begin to skyrocket in Tennessee in coming months as guidelines limiting the amount of pain meds doctors may prescribe on a daily basis kick in, with published reports saying that about an incredible ninety thousand – yes, that’s 90,000 – people in the state currently receive pain meds dosages that exceed the new guidelines and face the prospect of being cut off of the amount of opiates they are used to taking on a daily basis. This in an environment where, according to published reports, the state’s mental health and addictions agency is facing a 7 percent cut in its budget, or nearly $9M, as all agencies face the same cuts to comply with an across the board fiscal savings measure introduced by the state Governor Bill Haslam

Public Funded

According to published reports, addictions centers in Tennessee are currently having trouble filling the intense demand, with Mary Linden Salter, head of the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and Addiction Services, quoted in local press as saying that at public centers there are already substantial waiting lists, and now these frankly absurd guidelines on opiates where once again the state is interfering with telling a doctor how to practice medicine. Few know this story, but in its efforts to control opiates in the 1920s Treasury agents jailed twenty eight thousand doctors – yes, that’s 28,000!!!! – for using opiates to bring down opiate addicts off the drugs.

Business Opportunity

But, of course, those with money and good insurance won’t have to wait in line in Tennessee when the new guidelines kick in and private centers will be no doubt be doing a booming businesss, with AAC and  Foundations both having large private presences in the state. (We do NOT mean that as a criticism of either of these well run institutions, but are just making a point on how hard it is in this country in some places to get help if you have no money) And we here at Treatment Magazine just read a highly interesting report this afternoon based on 2012 SAMHSA data that opiate addicts are ten times more likely than an alcoholic to seek out some form of treatment, so on the private side business outta be booming down Tennessee way soon, if it isn’t already. And we here at Treatment Magazine are just left shaking our heads at foolish policies that won’t work and will create a lot trouble and maybe even some booming business for heroin dealers…


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