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.

Suboxone maker Reckitt Benckiser to pay $1.4 billion in largest opioid settlement in US history

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The largest opioid settlement in history comes, not from a company that oversold opioids, but from a company profiting from the crisis. This should be a strident alarm for any community, city or state considering moving to a model that focuses on making Suboxone or other Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) drugs widely available, particularly when ...Read more


Oklahoma, Teva Pharmaceuticals reach $85 million settlement in opioid case

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The state of Oklahoma is going after the drug companies which it blames for helping to create the opioid addiction crisis. Having settled out of court in May with Teva Pharmaceuticals for 85 million dollars, and in March of 2019 Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin for $270 million, they will now take Johnson and Johnson ...Read more


The science of addiction remains unsettled

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Conversations about the underlying nature of addiction often turn contentious. Sometimes, they devolve into disputes with the character and zeal of a holy war. The prevailing wisdom holds that addiction is a disease, often likened to diabetes. That perspective is practically the only theory covered in popular media and, in some circles, questioning it is …Read more


Medication Assisted Treatment: Solution or Set-Up for Opiate Addicts?

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This article, written by a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, articulates the problems associated with a single pathway approach to recovery. It focuses on drug treatment approaches that exclude alternatives in favor of long-term reliance on drugs such as methadone or Suboxone. This includes a caution against the likely unintended consequences of wholesale  adoption of ...Read more


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