The Center for the Study of Drug Addiction Policy (CSDAP) was established in response to the skyrocketing misuse and abuse of prescription and illicit opioids. Community resources were, and still are, strained to the shattering point, struggling to deal with the explosion of opioid-related addiction, overdoses and deaths
There are no one-shot solutions: addiction is a complex condition. Its nature, cause and resolution are not universally agreed upon and the science on it remains unsettled. Opioid addiction presents a particular danger as it can so often be fatal but it is not the only addiction crisis we face.
When it comes to treatment, science and long experience have conclusively demonstrated there are many pathways to recovery. This may include the use of treatment drugs when needed to reduce the risk of fatal overdose followed by counseling, behavioral therapies, life skills training and support services to help achieve long-term recovery.
However, some proponents of the treatment-drug model of addiction are advocating for the exclusive use of pharmaceutical drugs to address addiction without any associated counseling or behavioral therapies. Such advocates have even suggested abandoning all non-drug treatment approaches. This “single pathway” model is not supported by the science, ignores the millions who have achieved recovery without treatment drugs, and invalidates the well-established principle that there are many pathways to recovery. Ultimately, it denies impacted individuals and their families the opportunity and right to choose treatment based on fully informed consent.
The political, economic and social impacts of decisions made today about addiction treatment will affect communities and individuals for generations to come. It is the Center’s position that such decisions should be made with access to the best possible, most complete information. Local and state officials are being asked to do something about the crisis and in the absence of complete data, they risk embracing a “single pathway” solution without understanding the potential unintended consequences and the advantages inherent in vibrant, diverse ecosystems of services.
The Center’s mission is to:
- Understand and inform the political, economic and marketing forces shaping our response to the drug crisis.
- To critically examine potential unintended consequences associated with policy changes.
- To highlight recovery solutions and the value of choice in treatment.