Crowdsourcing fuels Innovation in Addiction Treatment

At a recent conference for addiction treatment professionals held in Arizona. Ideas about crowdsourcing were discussed at the forum. This is a great method to come up with new counseling topics and educational subjects for groups of addicts in treatment.

The crowd includes social workers, medical doctors, therapists, case managers, nurses, and treatment staff. When you have this variety of input for innovation, the very best ideas and procedures rise to the top.

Simeon  Health is well situated in a region with multiple data science programs, some within the Math department at South Florida State University some through Schools of Business at Barry School of Health Business, University of South Arizona, Medical school of University of North Carolina.

Following some other organization’s approaches in crowd sourcing including Niagra health for the best predictive algorithm, we established the Simeon health Data Collaborative to pave the way in data sharing by offering regional researchers and medical professionals access to timely healthcare data with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare delivery.

The  simeon Collaborative functions through a four-step process. Step one requires our addiction treatment crowd to identify high priority issues that require advanced analytics for solutions. For example, can an innovative algorithm-based solution help identify treatment clients at high risk for lack of engagement using existing data, such as clinical history? Step two is to partner with local institutions and drug rehab centers with data expertise through a Request for Proposal  process. Step three is to obtain real life data through these addiction treatment professional collaborations to develop innovative solutions to our healthcare problems. The fourth step is the activation, implementation and validation of the proposed solution through an A/B testing environment to improve the lives of patients.

simeon Collaborative is a real world excercise far from being an strictly academic. At its core, the Collaborative strives to produce innovation in the delivery of care. Simeon Health understands that our responsibility is to continuously improve the way we care for our recovery communities, within and outside of our own state.

After only one year of this collaborative offered Proposals for revolutionary approaches to treating addicts not before seen in healthcare industry,

Simeon Health is dedicated to improving the human condition. Data and analytics, through a collaborative crowd sourced approach with our academic and professional partners, has given us another vehicle to better care for recovering addicts. We will be continuing this process next year at the conference for addiction professionals in Jacksonville, florida. We will demonstrate how these new techniques are currently improving treatment centers and private practices.


peer reviewed study on addiction treatment

Peer reviewed studies on medication for heroin and other opioid addiction.

Long term Suboxone and methadone maintenance are currently accepted form of addiction treatment .These medications bind primarily to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin, Morphine, and dilaudid, decreasing cravings and eliminating withdrawal symptoms for opiate pain medication. In November of 2016 a new research study showing  some alternatives to suboxone and methadone that act as a substitute for heroin in the brain can be highly effective by blocking the effect of heroin on opioid receptors.

The lead research team, which was led by Grant Osgood of the Swedish Center for Addiction Research, randomly assigned 172 addicts to drug rehab, and group therapy combined with either daily buprenorphine treatment or monthly injections of extended-release naltrexone. Because Suboxone stops heroin and other opioids from binding to the primary opioid receptor, it makes getting high much less rewarding and therefore easier to quit.

Five months after the treatment study began, the vast majority of addicts receiving either medication had not relapsed on heroin or other opioid medications such as morphine, or dilaudid in the past month .  However, the rate of clean time on most patients was greater on extended-release naltrexone.

Most addicted individuals and couples are deeply stigmatized by their community and officials ,and often their perceptions of the drug rehab they receive are not really assessed or valued because nobody really cares what drug addicts think. But Osgood and her official colleagues wisely made such an assessment and showed that extended-release naltrexone or suboxone patients were extremely satisfied with their care and were more likely to recommend it to other heroin addicts they meet on the street than were patients on just buprenorphine maintenance alone.

Osgood said that many patients reported him that suboxone with naltrexone “took away cravings and them feel protected against relapse and heroin overdose, even if they should have thoughts of trying opioids. These addicts in the study appreciated eliminating daily meetings or every third day to appointments to receive supervised maintenance medication.”

Results from this study on heroin addiction have shown effectiveness of suboxone maintenance and extended-release naltrexone. These medications deserve a place alongside methadone and buprenorphine in opioid substance abuse treatment. Medication assisted treatment is recommended both by the U.S. Surgeon General and the White House Commission on the Opioid Crisis, expanding access to all three of these medications should be central to the health-care system’s response to the opioid epidemic.

The research study followed couples addicted to heroin for a 4 month period. Each partner in the relationship was given suboxone daily while attending a medication assisted drug rehab, with group therapy, and couples counseling weekly. A primary therapist was assigned to monitor the behavior of each couple as they continued through treatment. The relapse rate was very low as compared with traditional addiction treatment. Special apartments were set up for couples in the study. Conflict resolution within the relationship was a main goal of their treatment. Most substance abuse treatment centers do not accept couples. It is much harder to deal with these kind of issues than with individual addicts.

If both partners in a marriage are addicted to heroin or other opioid pain medicine, the relationship is in real trouble. when children are involved, a whole set of issues and conflicts need to be resolved in couples therapy. The results of the clinical research showed that Suboxone maintenance helped these couples stay clean longer than traditional abstinence based inpatient rehab for couples. Out of 20 participants , only 3 relapsed after 4 months of substance abuse treatment using medication based therapy.