Public Policy

Public policy discussions are not just a creature of Washington, DC. They occur at all levels of government and ultimately affect individuals, families and communities. The current pendulum swing towards pervasive long-term Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) threatens to narrow the choices available to those in recovery and their families. These stories focus on policy decisions being made, the stakeholders involved and their consequences.

Huge national opioids lawsuit moves forward

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The seriousness that is often missed when statistics are rattled off on the lives lost to opioids, was brought to a succinct statement by Judge Dan Polster in his ruling of the Ohio suit against Purdue Pharma and others, when he said, "It is accurate to describe the opioid epidemic as a man-made plague, 20 ...Read more


Massachusetts pre-hearing memorandum in case against Purdue Pharma

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This links to the the pre-hearing memorandum from Massachusetts in their case against Purdue Pharma. In general, the case centers around Purdue Pharma publicly denial that its opioids were addictive, although internally they acknowledged it and devised a plan to profit from them. The family that owns Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, approved public marketing plans ...Read more


Is There A Big Pharma Fox In The Anti-Addiction Hen House?

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This article raises questions about the impartiality of The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), currently headed by Dr. Kelly Clark, who is also the chief medical officer for Clean Slate, a "company that has been fined for the improper prescription of buprenorphine." She, as well as her predecessor, Dr. Stuart Gitlow, also a medical ...Read more


Involuntary treatment for substance use disorder: A misguided response to the opioid crisis

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The debate highlighted in this editorial centers around the idea of help. Can you help someone whose freedom of choice has been taken away from them so they can be involuntarily committed for "help" for 90 days? And is it right, much less effective, to arrest a person because of substance abuse? The question would ...Read more


The counseling controversy: will we medicate our way out of the opioid crisis?

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Ohio is now debating the validity of keeping counseling as part of the requirements for patients that are administered Suboxone in order to fight an opioid addiction. Several doctors are espousing the position that counseling is not effective and that therefore adding more rules will keep physicians and other providers from considering treating people with ...Read more


Employers: Use caution when dealing with prescription drug users

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The latest battlefield in the war with the opioid epidemic may be the commercial front. Businesses, big and small, are being sued for what was once considered usual practices. Activities including blanket drug testing, questioning employees about the prescription medications they take, as well as changing a company's policy that requires employees to disclose prescription ...Read more


Suing the Opioid Companies

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Two well-informed academics discuss the legal maneuvers and the possible successes of the various lawsuits that have been brought against opioid manufacturers, distributors and big retail pharmacies. They point out that "in the past four years, roughly 400 cities, counties, and states initiated lawsuits seeking recovery for their additional public spending traceable to the opioid ...Read more


Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side

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The dark side of addiction encompasses the addiction itself, all the illegal and legal plethora associated with drugs including needles, pills, liquids and even strips. These are the physical objects. The human component, the person that struggles with the addiction, is often the most overlooked in the battle of how to handle this modern war. ...Read more


The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy

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Purdue Pharma's history of marketing and promoting OxyContin shows what influence money has on our social framework. Offering large bonuses to their expanding sales force, giving physicians free symposiums on pain management, giving out "free" samples of the drug to patients, Purdue ran a well-funded and targeted campaign. Doctors who prescribed opioids the most were ...Read more