Different Takes: Where Is The Agenda To Attack The Opioid Crisis? Save Lives, Don’t Treat Addiction The Wrong Way
Opinion writers weigh in on the nation's opioid epidemic.
Where Is Trump's Emergency On Opioids?
Amid much fanfare last October, President Trump declared that the nation's opioid crisis was a “public health emergency” and spoke movingly of losing his older brother to alcohol addiction. That 90-day declaration is set to expire Tuesday. And while some promising plans are taking shape, the federal follow-through is falling far short of what is needed. (1/17)
Trump HHS: Bringing New Urgency To Opioid Crisis
President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare a historic public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis last Oct. 26. But every day since I arrived to run the federal government’s behavioral health agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and every day since the president took office, America’s opioid crisis has been treated as an emergency situation.As the former chief medical officer of a state struggling with the crisis and former chief medical officer of SAMHSA, I can say with confidence that this administration has brought a new, desperately needed level of urgency to the crisis our families and communities are suffering from every day. (Elinore F. McCance-Katz, 1/17)
The New York Times:
The Wrong Way To Treat Opioid Addiction
Before Joe Thompson switched treatments for his opioid addiction, he was a devoted stay-at-home father, caring for his infant son after his wife returned to work. His recovery was aided by the anticraving medication buprenorphine. But after over two years free of heroin, Mr. Thompson, a former United Parcel Service worker from Iowa, relapsed and decided to try another kind of treatment program. Unfortunately, his new counselors insisted that continuing his buprenorphine, though it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, was just as bad as using heroin, according to his wife, Deborah. He wasn’t even allowed to start therapy until he’d been abstinent for several weeks. Stressed by withdrawal, he went to a third center. It, too, banned medication. Within a week of entering the program, he was dead from a heroin overdose. He was 35. (Maia Szalvitz, 1/17)
Los Angeles Times:
Republicans Figure Out Opioid Crisis — It's The Fault Of Medicaid Expansion! (Spoiler: They're Wrong)
Washington tourists with time on their hands Wednesday could have popped into the Capitol to witness an ancient phenomenon: Senators doing their darndest to prove a partisan fantasy. In this case, the fantasy was that Medicaid expansion is to blame for the opioid crisis in the United States. The ringmaster was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Johnson has been flogging this notion for the better part of a year, or longer, despite the utter lack of evidence that it's true — and plenty of evidence that the opposite is true. (Michael Hiltzik, 1/17)