Stigma Surrounding Medication-Based Treatments Hurts Efforts To Curb Opioid Addiction
Although there's a misconception that providing opioids as treatment to those struggling with addiction is simply exchanging one drug for another, doctors and scientists say that is not how it works. Researchers have found that when combined with counseling, they significantly reduce opioid use and keep people in treatment longer.
Treating Opioid Addiction With A Drug Raises Hope And Controversy
Scientists and doctors say the case is clear: The best way to tackle the country's opioid epidemic is to get more people on medications that have been proven in studies to reduce relapses and, ultimately, overdoses. Yet, only a fraction of the more than 4 million people believed to abuse prescription painkillers or heroin in the U.S. are being given what's called medication-assisted treatment. One reason is the limited availability of the treatment. But it's also the case that stigma around the addiction drugs has inhibited their use. (Hsu, 5/17)
In other news about the epidemic —
Minnesota Public Radio:
Bill To Stop Opioid 'Doctor-Shopping' Moves Ahead In Legislature
A bill that would slightly tighten the state's Prescription Monitoring Program by requiring doctors to sign up for credentials to log into the system has now passed both houses of the state Legislature. (Collins, 5/17)