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.

Pharmaceutical Executive Sentenced To 66 Months In Prison In Opioid Trial


The sentencing of a former pharmaceutical executive to more than five years in prison is being hailed as a potentially important warning to other pharmaceutical executives. Although this trial will hopefully signal the start of other prosecutions, it is also remarkable such prosecutions aren't already common. Reports indicate that in the United States alone more ...Read more

Benzodiazepine prescriptions reach ‘disturbing’ levels in the US


This article reports on a disconcerting trend -- a high level of benzodiazepine prescription in the US and abroad. In too many cases, the benzodiazepine's were co-prescribed with opioids even though the combination of the two can be fatal.  The article also points out that benzodiazepine deaths have gone up substantially in the US over ...Read more

The medications that change who we are


An interesting article concerning possible personality and other changes caused by commonly available, prescribed or over-the-counter drugs. While the article relates to drugs other than those typically associated with addiction or addiction treatment, it would also seem to raise a red flag for the widespread, indiscriminate use of drugs.  If, as the research suggests, commonly ...Read more

Disease Model Proponents Are the Climate Change Deniers of Our Field


An important statement of the problem and consequences of adopting an overly-medicalized view of addiction. In part, it says:  "Convincing us that addiction is inevitable and inescapable—in the face of ubiquitous evidence that it is culturally and cognitively inculcated and very escapable—is a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Unlike addiction, people don’t generally escape diseases like cancer through ...Read more

Purdue Pharma’s Foreign Affiliate Now Selling Overdose Cure


This article covers the history of Purdue Pharma playing both ends of the problem -- providing opioids that lead to addition and other drugs for those who become addicted.  This serves as a cautionary tale for communities considering drug-based "solutions" to the opioid crisis. The player with the largest marketing budget is Big Pharma and ...Read more

FDA Warning Against False MAT Advertising


This article covers the latest in a long history of misrepresentations by the industry about opioid-related drugs. It is well known that the pharmaceutical industry contributed materially to the current opioid crisis and has routinely engaged in problematic marketing practices. For example, see: 76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic Deciphering ...Read more

PhRMA ends funding for high-profile addiction treatment group


The Addiction Policy Forum, a non-profit which has been the subject of some concern because of its financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, is now losing that support.  For background on the concern, see Big Pharma Co-Opts Anti-Addiction Advocate. This article claims the Addiction Policy Forum received upwards of 90% of its funding from a pharma ...Read more

Four Treatment Facilities Honored in Analysis of Post-Treatment Outcomes


This article concerns the first annual awards given to programs for post-care abstinence rates which ranged from 65%  for the Gold Winner to 42% for the Bronze winner.  The results were based on a study done on more than 3,000 patients nationwide and indicated a strong percentage of patients who were able to remain abstinent ...Read more

Brain Change in Addiction as Learning, Not Disease

An article by one of the leaders in addiction theory and practice, Marc Lewis, summarizing and comparing the learning model of addiction to the brain disease model of addiction. Lewis has been at the forefront of debate concerning addiction and presents compelling arguments for a broader understanding of addiction.   ...Read more