Drug Addiction Policy Studies & Research | CSDAP2021-07-12T07:28:33-04:00
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Sacklers Threaten to Pull Out of Opioid Settlement Without Broad Legal Immunity

August 20th, 2021|

A scion of the Sackler family, the billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma, vowed in court on Tuesday that the family would walk away from a $4.5 billion pledge to help communities nationwide that have been devastated by the opioid epidemic, unless a judge grants it immunity from all current and future civil claims associated with the company.

Absent that broad release from liability, said David Sackler, 41, a former board member and grandson of one of the founders, the family would no longer support the deal that the parties have painstakingly negotiated over two years to settle thousands of opioids lawsuits brought by states, cities, tribes and other plaintiffs.

A next horrifying assault on addiction: brain surgery

August 20th, 2021|

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After nearly two decades of hardcore drug addiction — after overdoses and rehabs and relapses, homelessness and dead friends and ruined lives — Gerod Buckhalter had one choice left, and he knew it.

He could go on the same way and die young in someone’s home or a parking lot, another casualty in a drug epidemic that has claimed nearly 850,000 people like him.

Or he could let a surgeon cut two nickel-size holes in his skull and plunge metal-tipped electrodes into his brain.

NY Proposed $26 Billion Agreement with Opioid Industry

August 2nd, 2021|

New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced an historic proposed $26 billion agreement that will help deliver desperately needed relief to communities across New York and the rest of the nation struggling with opioid addiction. The proposed agreement will resolve claims against three of the nation’s largest drug distributors — McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation — as well as one of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) — over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic. New York communities ravaged by opioids will specifically receive up to $1.25 billion to fund prevention, treatment, and recovery programs (the terms of New York’s specific settlements were previously announced with both the three distributors and with J&J). Additionally, today’s proposed agreement requires significant industry changes that aim to end the opioid epidemic and prevent this type of crisis from occurring again.

Biden picks former West Virginia health official as nation’s drug czar

July 29th, 2021|

Rahul Gupta, ally of Sen. Manchin (D-WV), would oversee drug policy strategy if confirmed

Gupta, a primary-care doctor who previously served as West Virginia’s health commissioner, led Biden’s transition efforts for the drug policy office and serves as the top health official at maternal and child advocacy group March of Dimes, would be the first physician to serve as drug czar if confirmed by the Senate.

House reshapes approach to mental health and addiction

July 28th, 2021|

House lawmakers are restructuring their bipartisan task forces dedicated to combating the drug epidemic and expect the chamber to consider behavioral health legislation this year, members told CQ Roll Call. The push is spearheaded by four lawmakers in an effort to broaden the scope of legislative efforts beyond opioids to include all forms of addiction and mental health... The co-chairs’ first action will be to introduce a resolution that would designate September as National Recovery Month. The former Bipartisan Opioid Task Force released an agenda of bills each session, and Kuster says the new group’s agenda will be “coming out shortly.” “In the next couple of months, we’ll come right out with it,” said Kuster, pointing to other bipartisan successes such as a 2016 medical research law that included resources for treatment and prevention of mental illness and addiction. Congress has passed multiple wide-ranging laws in recent years to fund prevention and expand treatment of substance use and mental health disorders. Fitzpatrick said the task force intends to meet with the president and vice president once the group has its agenda.

Is calling addiction a disease more harmful than helpful?

July 24th, 2021|

To disease, or not to disease? In addiction circles, that is still the controversial question, despite its official, decades-long recognition as such by the American Medical Association (AMA). Notably, several other Western democracies don’t formally classify addiction as a disease – even though the most prolific treatment for addiction, 12 Step programs, are openly recognized and encouraged. Let’s discuss why “disease” is one word that should be abandoned from addiction terminology.

Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk for opioid addiction

July 5th, 2021|

People with low levels of vitamin D might be at an increased risk for opioid dependence or addiction — and the deficit could be fixed with cheap and accessible supplements, a new Massachusetts General Hospital study indicates. “Our results suggests that we may have an opportunity in the public health arena to influence the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. David Fisher, director of the MGH Cancer Center’s melanoma program and an author of the study published Friday. Fisher and his colleagues found that vitamin D deficiency strongly increases the craving for opioids, potentially putting people at a higher risk for addiction.

We’re Overlooking a Major Culprit in the Opioid Crisis

June 19th, 2021|

Journalists have largely presented the overdose crisis as a story of three interconnected and perhaps inevitable waves. First, drug companies, led by Purdue Pharma, maker of the notorious OxyContin, convinced gullible doctors to prescribe unneeded opioids. ... The second wave in this narrative begins around 2011, when states cracked down on “pain clinics” that were really pill mills, offering doses for dollars. ... Finally, the third wave was initiated by dealers about four years later. Seeing a chance to make even more money, they began to cut heroin with illicitly manufactured fentanyl and various other synthetic opioids, which are both cheaper to make and more potent.

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