Understand the risks of prescription drugs

Monday, April 24, 2017

Prescription opioids, when prescribed and managed correctly, can help people manage their pain. However, it is critically important for anyone using them to understand their potential risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths rose 11 percent last year to over 52,000 deaths, with over half caused by opioid abuse.

TeamCare member Travis Bornstein from Akron, Ohio, shared the story of his 23-year- old son, an accomplished athlete on a golf and academic college scholarship. Tyler began using prescribed pain killers after elbow surgery for a football injury. He became addicted while on prescribed medication and turned to the cheaper alternative, heroin, after the prescription pain killers were no longer available. Tragically, Tyler passed away from a heroin overdose in 2014. It is a familiar story to many.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 80 percent of Americans using heroin reported misusing prescription opioids prior to using heroin.

If you or a family member are experiencing a problem with opioids or other drugs, take that all-important first step toward getting help and contact your primary care physician. Options for treatment include outpatient therapy, inpatient rehabilitation and detoxification. Your TeamCare plan provides Behavioral Health benefits (including substance abuse) at the same level of coverage as your other medical care.

TeamCare’s extensive PPO network gives members access to hospitals, treatment centers, and doctors that treat substance abuse. Getting care in-network helps avoid surprise out-of-pocket expenses that are your responsibility when you go out of network. To find a provider near you, visit our Find a Provider section.

In memory of Tyler, Travis Bornstein and his wife Shelly founded a charity called Breaking Barriers – Hope is Alive. The charity helps educate families struggling with addiction and the goal is to build an addiction treatment center on the empty lot in Coventry Township, Ohio, where his son’s body was found. More information can be found at NowWeFightForYou.com