Summary and Analysis

In the transcript featured below, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), covers a number of topics such as the current state of the opioid epidemic, the introduction of fentanyl into supplies of stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine and the necessity for drug prevention addressed to youth. She also comments on the way the COVID pandemic has worsened the situation for those who use drugs and the increase of overdoses among the homeless.

Some of her comments would be considered by some to be controversial, such as:

  • There’s no evidence of people overdosing on methadone since more people have been receiving take-home doses.
  • She also calls for an increase in the ease of access to buprenorphine, including through telehealth.

In the past, CSDAP has published many stories regarding our concerns about the safety of methadone and that provide warnings about reliance on buprenorphine. We invite you to look more closely at these situations.

Excerpted from Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network

The Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network published online a transcript of a talk given by Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit held in Atlanta in April 2022. In the interview, she discusses recent updates on the opioid epidemic and highlights how NIDA is working to shift its focus to actively address the changing landscape of the epidemic.

One part of her message was the importance of prevention, stating, “if we do not address the issue of preventing drug use very early, adolescents who are the ones that are starting to experiment, we will always be catching up, new drug for the other.”