In a previous blog post, I wrote about crisis intervention teams and their effectiveness in improving outcomes for people experiencing a crisis due to a mental or substance use disorder. Crisis intervention teams work with law enforcement officials to recognize a person who is in crisis and safely direct them to treatment appropriate for their condition.
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SAMHSA broadens access to mental health and substance abuse data to American communities while saving taxpayers money
Every day the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) responds to questions about the opioid crisis. How many Americans are prescribed opioids? How many are receiving treatment in specialty substance use disorder treatment facilities? Where can people find opioid treatment services?
For the past four years, SAMHSA has issued the Behavioral Health Barometer as a snapshot of the nation’s behavioral health. The Barometer is a unique compilation of facts and figures on issues such as substance use, serious mental illness, serious thoughts of suicide, and related treatment. The findings are broken down into major groups according to age, gender, racial and ethnic categories, income, and access to health insurance.What does the Barometer tell us? For starters, it shows the national annual prevalence of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. In 2015, about 12.5 million persons aged 12 and over reported misusing prescription pain relievers, and about 828,000 reported using heroin.
Mental and substance use disorders take an enormous toll on Americans’ health, longevity and productivity. Collectively, depression, anxiety and mood disorders have the greatest impact on Americans’ health of any condition, according to claims data from more than 40 million Blue Cross Blue Shield members. Substance use disorders have the fifth greatest impact, while hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol are also in the top five.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailed several new actions that we are taking to address the country’s opioid crisis. One of these actions was Yesing the final rule to increase the patient limit for practitioners prescribing buprenorphine. This rule aims to improve access to buprenorphine, which is prescribed along with behavioral health services as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT).