Don’t let substance use disorders have the last word

Ask for help and put “hope” back in your vocabulary

Substance use disorders (SUD) change brain chemistry, creating chronic cravings that are difficult to control without treatment.

These disorders don’t care about age, gender, race, education, location or economic status. Many substances can be misused and become part of a disorder, including:

  • Opioids
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Cannabis
  • Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens

Dealing with a growing opioid problem

From 2000 to 2016, over 600,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those grim statistics continue to grow, driven largely by the abuse of highly addictive prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.1

These drugs, usually prescribed for pain relief, are highly addictive, which often makes quitting them difficult. As a result, opioid abuse can destroy families and lives.

Findings from the CDC about opioid drug overdoses in 2016:

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to rise in the United States.1

The majority of drug overdose deaths (66%) involve an opioid.1

On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid drug overdose.1

Fight doubts and fears with action, not excuses

Despite all this, there is hope. When people dealing with substance use disorders ask for help and seek out resources, early intervention and treatment can save lives.

Only about 1 in 10 people with substance use disorders receive any type of specialty treatment.2 Coping with and seeking treatment often carries a social stigma that unfortunately keeps many from getting the help that could save their lives.

The longer a substance is used, the harder it can be for the user to get back to “normal” during treatment. That’s why it’s so important to detect and begin treating substance use disorders as early as possible.

That inability or unwillingness to ask for help is often due to a combination of reasons, including:

  • Expectations of cost, even with insurance
  • A belief one can handle it on his or her own or doesn’t think treatment will help
  • Uncertainty about where to go or how to get started
  • A lack of time for treatment
  • Denial, shame, fear or guilt
  • The feeling that getting treatment shows weak character

Some effective treatment options are available

Any step toward seeking help and treatment can be a step toward getting better. Humana plans with behavioral health benefits may include coverage for substance use disorders treatment.* Treatment can focus on:

  • Intensive and early intervention
  • Personalized care that focuses on the whole person—mind and body alike
  • An effort to remove the stigma associated with having a substance use disorder

Treatment options can include:

  • Medication assisted treatment
  • Counseling
  • Peer groups
  • 12-step fellowships
  • Inpatient treatment

Resources

If you feel you or someone you love may be coping with substance use disorders, you can call the Humana Behavioral Health Hotline number found on the back of your Humana member ID card.

If you don’t have a doctor or need to find a new one, search the Humana providers network. Find a doctor

You can also look into available state and local help. Many states provide a variety of opioid and drug treatment resources.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an excellent and trusted source for information and guidance when dealing with SUD. The SAMHSA website includes a searchable map for finding nearby treatment facilities or programs.

The American Pain Society works to educate patients, healthcare providers and policy makers about pain management and ways to improve clinical approaches to pain prevention and relief.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion hosts a list of sites that can help you find nearby treatment programs and facilities, support groups and more at the state or county level.