Addiction, Drugs, Opioids, Painkillers

The roots of the North American opioid crisis, and 3 key strategies for stopping it

The traditional “war on drugs” approach that focuses only on criminalization has been unsuccessful. In reality the data shows that illegal drug prices have fallen whilst purity and deaths have increased. Overdose deaths have also increased in prisons showing that places with even the highest level of security are vulnerable to drug smuggling.Focusing on the opioid crisis through a public-health approach includes massively increasing access to care and treatment for patients experiencing substance use disorder. It requires more evidence-based services such as addiction clinics, psychotherapy harm reduction strategies and education for both patients and families about treatments that are available to them.Beyond initial treatment there should be continued professional social support and a wider national effort to address the socioeconomic causes in disadvantaged communities.

Addiction, Emergency Medicine, Opioids, Painkillers

As Overdose Deaths Rise, Few Emergency Rooms Offer Addiction Help

Medical professionals and addiction treatment advocates have long argued that buprenorphine, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, should be available in every emergency room in the country — just like drugs for heart attacks, strokes and diabetic emergencies.  And they argue that emergency physicians should have basic training in addiction medicine and be licensed to write a take-home prescription for buprenorphine.