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.

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

How America’s opioid epidemic could get even worse


This article is based on a large Rand Corporation report, The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids, which concludes the following:  "... (1) fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are becoming dominant in some parts of the United States and Canada, but remain less common in other parts of these countries; (2) a confluence of ...Read more

New York attorney general exposes $1 billion in wire transfers by Sackler family


This article introduces an additional facet of the investigation into the Sackler family, its relationship to Purdue Pharma and the opioid crisis.  Although the Sackler family denies the allegations, the New York attorney general is claiming the family moved money in an attempt to protect it from investigators and/or litigation. This allegation comes on the ...Read more

Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse


This potentially game-changing study quantifies the economic value that faith-based programs bring to drug prevention and treatment. We plan to do a more complete analysis of the report's findings but wanted to make it available sooner rather than later as it was recently widely announced. Minimally, the report highlights the importance of supporting public policies ...Read more

Purdue Pharma offers $10-12 billion to settle opioid claims


According to this article and other news reports, the Sackler family is negotiating to settle the 2,000 suits that have been brought against Purdue Pharma for its role in causing the opioid crisis. The billion dollar settlement would involve payments from the Sackler family as well as revenue generated from Purdue's pharmaceuticals. According to the ...Read more

Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay Oklahoma $572 Million In Opioid Trial


This story summarizes the Oklahoma decision which calls for Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its part in causing the opioid crisis in that state. This is the first ruling to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid crisis.  The case relied on public nuisance law which requires those found guilty to pay ...Read more

It’s Positioned as the “Go-To Drug To Treat Opioid Addiction” But it has Downsides


This story highlights both arguments for and against the use of buprenorphine (Suboxone) to address the opioid crisis. The primary argument for is that it can save lives by helping patients to manage withdrawal symptoms.  The primary arguments against include: its widespread diversion to illegal use, the tendency for pharmacies where it is sold to ...Read more

Drilling into the DEA’s pain pill database


Following up on The Washington Post's eye-opening article based on the DEA drug tracking database, the Post made this online, searchable version of the database available. The web site allows users to search by state and country to view a breakdown of the total number of pills supplied during the six-year period from 2006 to ...Read more

76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic


A stunning revelation that exposes the magnitude of the pharmaceutical industry abuse that helped kick off the opioid crisis. In a short six year period, enough opioids were pushed to give every man, woman and child in the country more than 200 pills each.  The article paints a picture of massive abuse by a handful ...Read more