The article highlights the vital role that policy decisions have played in creating and increasing the addiction problem. Actions that address only the latest crisis often end up making the problem worse as has been seen with many policy reactions to the addiction crisis.
Unfortunately, the lack of focus on policy continues: “Journalists continue to echo the three-wave story that places the blame overwhelmingly on pharma. But the second two phases didn’t just happen: they were driven by policy choices.”
We risk another similar mis-step if policy continues to focus narrowly and primarily on pharmacological “solutions” to the problem. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) drugs have a place, but MAT drug alone will not solve the personal, family or community problems. And widespread and unsupported prescription of MAT drugs is likely to have unintended consequences which could worse, not improve the situation.