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Topic: Policy Makers

Policy makers at all levels are being called on to do something about the opioid crisis. Lives depend on the decisions made and funding is never sufficient to do everything. There is no single solution, no matter what some may claim: there are many pathways of recovery and each entails best practices and successful actions. Understanding all the options helps prioritize next steps. To make the best decisions, you need the best data.

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.

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.

Research Identifies Pain Manage­ment Strategy That Reduces Opioid Exposure

January 29th, 2021|

SUBSCRIBE DONATE NOW Search Posts and/or Pages DONATE NOW Date:      |     Contributor:   Source:  ( )     |     Category: Summary and Analysis... Another study indicating that non-opioid solutions for pain management can be effective, i.e. opioids do not need to be the first line approach to pain management. Information such as this, had it been widely available and implemented, could have helped avoid the problems

Biden Admin to Halt Plans to Nix X-Waiver Require­ment

January 28th, 2021|

SUBSCRIBE DONATE NOW Search Posts and/or Pages DONATE NOW Date:      |     Contributor:   Source:  ( )     |     Category: Summary and Analysis... The new administration appears to be taking a different tact from the previous administration when it comes to rules related to the distribution of buprenorphine. According to the article, in the closing days of the Trump administration, guidelines were published that would have loosened

Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to federal criminal charges over opioid crisis

November 3rd, 2020|

SUBSCRIBE DONATE NOW Search Posts and/or Pages DONATE NOW Date:      |     Contributor:   Source:  ( )     |     Category: Summary and Analysis... An apparent conclusion to the Federal prosecution of the Sackler family company for its part in bringing on the opioid crisis. This does not, however, end litigation for the Sacklers. According to the article "about 2,800 cities, counties, Native American tribes and other

Toward a Philosophy of Choice: A New Era of Addiction Treatment

October 12th, 2020|

SUBSCRIBE DONATE NOW Search Posts and/or Pages DONATE NOW Date:      |     Contributor:   Source:  ( )     |     Category: Summary and Analysis... A fascinating article by William White describing the way choice relates to addiction treatment. The article touches on factors which have tended to marginalize choice including an emphasis on the neurobiological: "Based on the work of Volkov and other scientists, one could posit addiction

Brain Change in Addiction as Learning, Not Disease

October 3rd, 2019|

SUBSCRIBE DONATE NOW Search Posts and/or Pages DONATE NOW Brain Change in Addiction as Learning, Not Disease Date:      |     Contributor:   Source:  The New England Journal of Medicine (October 2018)     |     Category: Summary and Analysis... 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

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