Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Comment on CNN and addiction treatment

This is from an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, on the transition from prescription opioid misuse and addiction to heroin addiction. 

"We must work to make sure treatment for drug addiction is a pillar of drug policy in the United States. We already know that it can work at levels similar to the effects of treatment of other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma."

Interestingly, as a colleague of mine pointed out, by the time Dr. Gupta "got around to writing a 2-sentence paragraph on need for treatment at the end of the article, he already mentioned how some countries are prescribing heroin..... Also unfortunate is that he did not mention how there are three effective, approved medications for treatment, and how stigma reduces their availability."

Decades of collective data and experience demonstrate that medications including methadone, buprenorphine, and the newer naltrexone, can significantly help people achieve and sustain recovery from opioid use disorder and allow them to lead productive lives. But the stigma, misunderstanding, and associated politics that surrounds these medications, especially methadone and buprenorphine, keeps us collectively as a society from making the most out of them. 

We don't need prescription heroin -- we need informed and courageous politicians, healthcare providers, family members, and people in recovery to stand up and support what we already know works.  

For the full story by Dr. Gupta, go to:  http://goo.gl/Lfd8sb