Our company believes that in order to make a difference in the opioid epidemic, we must not only treat those who are currently diagnosed with opiate use disorder but also stop opiate addiction before it starts. We combine the expertise of board-certified addiction medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, doctors of physical therapy, and licensed and certified counselors to provide cost-effective care under one roof for the entire spectrum of opiate use including biological, physiological, and psychological components. The care is provided locally and on an outpatient basis.
These beliefs, expertise, and care have allowed us to reach a new level of effectiveness in year one. NuHope’s Phase One protocols focused on taper effectiveness and meeting national guidelines. The treating MD provided the goal which could include complete abstinence, removing harmful co-prescribed medications (i.e. benzodiazepines), or getting below the CDC-accepted MME (milligram morphine equivalents) criteria.
These statistics represent significant first steps for our company and treating San Antonio opioid dependencies as a whole. But we still have a long way to go.
In 2015, the opioid crisis costs Texas $20 billion annually—1.27 percent of GDP. Non-fatal opioid costs are $202 per capita in Texas, all costs—including loss of life—total $706 per capita.
In 2017, nearly 3,000 Texans died due to drug overdose. That is more than the student body of a Texas 6A high school, more than the population of almost 60% of the towns and cities in Texas. Nine percent of Texas students in grades seven to twelve misused codeine cough syrup and four percent misused other opioids. Meanwhile, around five percent of Texas college students reported misusing opioids.
But the opioid crisis didn’t originate in the classrooms and the streets. Most of it started under medical supervision. Right now, there are more than 59,000 inpatient and more than 66,000 outpatient procedures performed in San Antonio every year. These treatments and surgeries lead to pain, and to combat that pain… opioid prescriptions. This has led to more than 15,000 patients with an opioid use disorder in San Antonio. To make matters worse, opioid prescriptions can lead to surgical outcomes that are less than optimal.
These aren’t just opiate abuse numbers. These numbers represent people. At NuHope we are committed to helping reduce opioid dependency in San Antonio. This crisis didn’t happen overnight, and the fix will not be immediate, but we will be there every day working to help our patients reduce their dependency on opioids, so they can get back to their life.