CSDAP supports Recovery Month and International Recovery Day, September 30th. These are annual observances dedicated to globally promoting all pathways to recovery from addiction and to educate the public about the value of recovery. We commend groups like Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) that put a lot of effort into promoting and celebrating these events.
Writer Karen Hadley contributed a review this book by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz. The first half of American Cartel tells the story of how the DEA was forced to change by The Alliance, a cartel of drug manufacturers who had no intention of letting the DEA change anything about their business model. And Joe Rannazzisi stood in the way of their being able to do business exactly as they chose. So he had to go. And the only way to accomplish that goal was through changing the law in America that enabled him to do his job. So that’s exactly what they did.
The typical coverage of addiction treatment and recovery tends to obscure the fact that many people recover from addiction. While the pain and anguish experienced by the families and friends of those who do not recover is undeniable, it is likewise undeniable that many do recover. To the casual observer, who only follows popular depictions, this might not be apparent.
In a July 2019 interview, two faculty of Boston University proposed that buprenorphine start being distributed without a doctor's prescription, with only a pharmacist’s approval. Easier access means that anyone currently struggling with opioid addiction could obtain this drug whenever they chose. But it also means easing restrictions on a drug that is currently abused, sold on the illicit market and addictive. It's time to look at who might profit from their recommendations.
In 2020, a special commission was convened to review causes and solutions for the increasing number of opioid deaths in North America. In February 2022, the Commission released its report. If the Commission proposes any effective methods of stopping this runaway freight train, those suggestions should be immediately and seriously considered.
Two decades ago, President George W. Bush established the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiative to encourage and coordinate community activities in providing social services. This initiative was renewed by Presidents Obama and Biden. But these renewals exclude a focus of faith-based and community groups on problems like substance abuse and addiction. Does the rise of medication-assisted treatment play a role in this exclusion?
Methadone and various formulations containing buprenorphine are treatment drugs used in medication-assisted treatment, usually referred to as MAT. These are the MAT drugs approved for treatment of opioid addiction (opioid painkillers, heroin, fentanyl). We will take a look at the minus side as well as the plus side of these opioid addition treatment drugs. Treatment with MAT drugs can be right for some people. But anyone choosing this treatment so they can leave addiction behind should be prepared for the minus side of MAT.
In 2018, McKesson committed the astronomical sum of $100 million to support a new non-profit group, the FORE Foundation. Is there any reason, really, to think twice about this collaboration between McKesson and the FORE Foundation? The answer might be "yes." This type of action was one of the tactics used by Purdue Pharma to smooth the path to increased opioid prescribing—getting a non-profit to spend your money making increased use of your products possible. In the end, even this move could be all about profits.