FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Theresa Hennessey Barcy
FENTANYL DEADLIER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
Abid Nazeer, MD, chief medical officer of Symetria Health®, unveils redefined treatment
strategies in wake of deadly fentanyl emergence at Midwest Opioid Summit
CHICAGO, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – Abid K. Nazeer, MD, chief medical officer of Symetria Health® and featured speaker at the 2019 Midwest Opioid Summit, presented at the conference today staggering statistics on the impact that fentanyl and synthetic opioid overdose deaths are having on the national opioid epidemic and why the current standard of care, the Office Based Opioid Treatment Model, is not enough tackle this escalating problem. Dr. Nazeer also shared successful protocols and new best practices being deployed by Symetria Health in direct response to the public health crisis of fentanyl addiction.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to reach out to my colleagues, some of the most influential researchers and clinical leaders on the front lines of tackling the opioid crisis, with new treatment-based protocols that are critical in addressing the fentanyl phenomenon and its impact on opioid addiction,” said Dr. Nazeer.
Dr. Nazeer highlighted that Symetria Health is now testing for fentanyl in its standard intake screening and has found that a failure to do so has the following implications on reviving someone from an overdose and devising a treatment plan:
- EMTs and emergency room teams have to use multiple doses of naloxone to revive someone from a fentanyl overdose.
- Treatment providers treat fentanyl addiction like any other opioid addiction when it demands certain adjustments and consideration in a treatment plan. If a treatment provider has not adopted a specific approach to fentanyl, the risk of relapse and death are increased.
- Buprenorphine, often the first line of defense as one of the medications used to manage opioid cravings, seems not be strong enough to help with fentanyl cravings. As only a partial agonist, buprenorphine is not as effective as methadone, which seems to be associated with higher success in patients recovering from a fentanyl addiction.
“The hard fact is that if addiction treatment providers continue to treat fentanyl addiction like traditional heroin or OxyContin addiction, the failure rate and death rate for people in treatment will remain the same or increase. Symetria has achieved superior outcomes compared to national averages for most recovery markers, and has developed a specific and direct clinical response to the deadly emergence of fentanyl. It is vital for me to share this knowledge with these professionals who can make an impact and transform lives,” stated Dr. Nazeer.
Data indicates clearly that the most successful approach to Opiate Use Disorder (OUD) is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in conjunction with comprehensive Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) that have concurrent behavioral, medical, psychiatric, and vocational services in one integrated setting. The Symetria Method® is an evidence-based, clinically proven model of patient-centered treatment focusing on intensive outpatient therapy while incorporating MAT.
The Symetria Method, now offered at 12 sites across the country, has proven evidence through an independent informatics comparative claims data examination of OUD patients, to exhibit a 52% reduction in post treatment opioid use; a 70% reduction in emergency room visits; and 36% lower overall healthcare costs compared to other standard opioid addiction treatment approaches.
About Symetria Health
Symetria Health® is an innovative behavioral health company focused on improving substance abuse treatment outcomes and strengthening communities by increasing awareness, advocacy and implementing best practices in the coordination of patient care.
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