Dr. Tonmoy Sharma has traveled around the United States, speaking and sharing his thoughts on behavioral healthcare and substance abuse treatment. The one question that lingers during his engagement with different people is: Is there a way to make addiction and behavioral care treatment more effective? The Sovereign Health CEO believes so.
According to Dr. Sharma, the best treatment approach for drug addiction and behavioral disorder is already widely used by general medical practitioners. In an article he wrote for the Orange County Business Journal, he discussed how measurement-based care (MBC) would make for effective treatment in light of the rising cases of drug addiction in the United States.
The use of MBC is straightforward, and it can be applied in any medical setting, as proven by the decades of use outside of the mental care area. Dr. Sharma said the benefits that MBC promises to bring should convince behavioral healthcare specialists that it raises the bar in their treatment approach.
And the best thing about MBC is its implementation comes with little or no cost for care providers, noted the Sovereign chief.
The Opioid Scourge
Dr. Sharma is making a hard push for the integration of MBC to behavioral treatment amid the increasing incidents of drug overdose in America. The U.S. government has practically confirmed that drug addiction has become a national epidemic, with deaths relating to overdose jumping by 300% between 1999 and 2015.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had projected that in 2017, around 70,000 Americans died of overdose. An aggressive treatment model is the only way to check the scourge, and Dr. Sharma pointed to MBC as an approach just waiting for massive deployment. Health authorities are not expecting substance abuse cases to go down anytime soon, which makes MBC an even more tempting option for medical professionals and the government.
Why MBC Is The Answer
The concept is simple, as previously indicated in all evidence-based medical practices. It involves the collection of data on patients to get an understanding if the treatment procedure on use is working. Doctors can then make the appropriate adjustment to make the treatment more effective, which is true for all medical cases.
As for treating addiction and mental disorders, a slight tweak is needed as frequent and periodic feedback from patients will give specialists a more predictable picture of the treatment progress. The data obtained from the patients allow the specialists to make a better decision, like reconfiguring the approach when warranted, Dr. Sharma said.
“MBC has shown to dramatically improve patient outcomes in addiction treatment – up to 67 percent, per some studies. Yet this approach is not the norm. Per a recent report from the Kennedy Forum titled A National Call for Measurement-Based Care, only 14% of clinicians use MBC in treating their patients with substance use disorders,” he wrote.
The prevailing situation is “simply unacceptable,” Dr. Sharma stated, adding: “There is nothing to lose, except lives and time, in rejecting the call for MBC in addiction treatment. The time is now.”