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.
MAT: Overdose Prevention or Treatment Leading to Real Recovery?
Medication-assisted treatment is America's primary offering for those who are addicted. But implicit in the word “treatment” is recovery from an illness or other condition—as in "not suffering from that condition any longer." Is medication-assisted treatment really a recovery-oriented therapy? Or is its primary role preventing a person from relapse and overdose? These are questions those involved in addiction recovery should be asking.
Will the White House’s “X waiver” elimination have unintended consequences?
According to an article in Politico, the White House held a ceremony on January 24, 2023 to sign the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. This Act eliminated the special training requirement for doctors and other health practitioners who wanted to prescribe medication-assisted treatment to the opioid-addicted. While making medication-assisted treatment more broadly available could be a positive move, does it take into account the care that the opioid-addicted really need ?
Can the scope of addiction treatment be changed with a single word?
Government agencies like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are continuously involved in setting the standards for treatment of addiction. They publish guidelines for both drug rehab facilities and those seeking rehab. Therefore, the exact wording of their guidelines is of utmost importance. A subtle shift could result in unintended and undesirable changes in treatment.
Despite critics, is AA effective?
In March 2020, Stanford Medicine News Center released a report addressing that question. A Stanford researcher and two collaborators conducted an extensive review of AA studies. Their findings stated that the AA fellowship helps more people achieve sobriety than therapy does.
Training people to become certified recovery peer advocates
LaShondra Jones went through years of mental illness and alcohol addiction, and in her late 40s she was living in a women’s shelter in Brooklyn. Finally stable and sober, she needed work — any type of work — for which her history wouldn’t count against her. Jones Googled “free training in NYC” and learned that several area community colleges offered training for people to become certified recovery peer advocates for those coping with alcohol or drug addiction. Her experience, in this case, would be a big plus.
Study finds marijuana with high THC levels linked to addiction, psychiatric illness
As the strength or potency of cannabis products has increased internationally over the years, so have rates of people being treated for cannabis addiction, say the authors of a new study. Researchers from the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath (UK) systematically analysed the relationship between the types of cannabis people use and their addiction and mental health problems. Their work draws on 20 studies involving almost 120,000 people.
Should people with addiction disorders be forced by governments into treatment?
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has proposed a court program that would force unhoused people with severe mental illnesses and addiction disorders into treatment. The moves comes in response to a worsening humanitarian crisis concerning people living on the streets, but has raised concerns from disability rights and civil liberties advocates. According to the proposed plan, those who do not follow through with the treatment could be forced into conservatorships.
Black adults’ experiences with drug treatment charted in new study
CLICK HERE to view the full study.