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U.S. Public and Doctors'* Misperceptions Revealed in National Survey Demonstrate Urgent Need for Increased Opioid Dependence Awareness
Date:6/11/2013

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Stigma may be a possible barrier to treatment – more than three-fourths (77%) of adults and most doctors (93%) mention shame or embarrassment, fear that others will find out and/or fear of putting life on hold as reasons why those suffering from addiction would refrain from seeking treatment.  But these barriers can be broken with greater understanding of the nature of the disease. 

While nine-in-ten adults (91%) and doctors (92%) agree opioid dependence can happen to anyone, doctors feel a low level of education (66%) and a low income (57%), among other factors, could cause someone to be more likely to experience opioid dependence. Yet opioid dependence is an equal opportunity condition, affecting individuals of all ages, genders, races and socioeconomic status.1

Additional misconceptions persist among doctors.  Only about one-quarter of doctors (27%) believe any doctor can prescribe medication to treat someone with opioid dependence. Further, when asked why they have not received DATA 2000 certification to dispense or prescribe certain FDA approved medication for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, one-third of doctors (31%) said they don't need DATA 2000 certification to treat patients with opioid dependence or prefer not to treat patients with the disease (7%). These doctors most commonly cited the following reasons: the patient population is difficult to treat (78%)++; it would require an overwhelming amount of paperwork or take up time their office staff and they do not have the ability to give (61%)++; and not wanting their practice to be viewed as an "addiction" practice (55%)++.

"The stigma that unjustly exists towards those who suffer from opioid dependence could negatively impact or even prevent people from receiving the care they need," said Mark L. Kraus, M.D., FASAM, assistant clinical professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and a f
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SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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