About 100 people die every day due to the opioid epidemic.
But a recent study published in the New York Times showed two medicines designed to reduce the effects of the drugs may have similar results. One local doctor told Channel 6 it's a huge win for patients trying to get off the addicting medications.
Dr. Matt Burge at Express ER in Waco said he sees the crisis staying about the same in our area, but that should change with help from the medicines featured in the study: Vivitrol and Suboxone.
While the two drugs are administered differently, the study showed they have about the same effect, which Dr. Burge said is great news for patients and could create a larger market for similar medications.
Although the improvement isn't visible much at the time, Burge said not to lose hope.
"I think we're going to be heading in the right direction in the next several years with increased treatment options and increased awareness and be able to get more people the help that they truly need," Burge said.
There is one downside to the drugs, however.
Dr. Burge said Vivitrol requires the patient get the effects out of his or her system, which can sometimes take a week. One option from there, he said, would be starting on Suboxone and later moving to Vivitrol.