Addiction, Opioids, University of Washington

King County launches ‘bup’ hotline.

Buprenorphine, also called suboxone, is a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. It is one of the best available treatments to alleviate withdrawal, reduce cravings, and reduce overdose risk by about half when taken as directed. It works by binding to the same receptors that opioids like fentanyl bind to, but it only turns them on about halfway. That keeps people from feeling sick and helps with their cravings.

Addiction, Health Policy, Law, Opioids

Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Aimed to Make Cops a Gateway to Rehab, Not Jail. State Leaders Failed to Make It Work.

Ballot Measure 110, approved by voters in 2020, created a new role for law enforcement in Oregon. While there’s evidence people living with addiction in the state are increasingly finding their way into treatment, the failure to turn police encounters into successful on-ramps to rehab has been cited by critics as prime evidence the measure isn’t working. Oregon lawmakers, noting an ongoing rise in overdose deaths, are now looking to restore jail time for drug possession.

But Oregon’s political leaders themselves played central roles in failing to deliver on the potential for law enforcement to connect people with lifesaving services under the new measure, documents and interviews with a wide array of people involved in the system indicate.

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.