Involuntary treatment for substance use disorder: A misguided response to the opioid crisis – Harvard Health Business Blog – Jan 2018 – By: Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH, Contributor, Elisabeth L. Ryan, JD, MPH, Contributor and Wendy E. Parmet, JD, Contributor
Recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced “An Act Relative to Combatting Addiction, Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions, and Enhancing Prevention” (CARE Act) as part of a larger legislative package to tackle the state’s opioid crisis.
The proposal would expand on the state’s existing involuntary commitment law, building on an already deeply-troubled system. Baker’s proposal is part of a misguided national trend to use involuntary commitment or other coercive treatment mechanisms to address the country’s opioid crisis.
This is the next logical step in the politicians’ efforts to stop the “opioid crisis” by brute force. Continue reading
Shoddy care, turmoil found inside Recovery Centers of America facilities By David Armstrong — STAT @DavidArmstrongX and Evan Allen — Boston Globe – August 25, 2017
Driven by financial avarice and greed, unregulated “addiction recovery” businesses have attracted Wall Street financing because they are so simple to set up and so lucrative.
The actual duties of helping people “recover” from opioid addiction are left to low-paid workers whose main qualification is often that they are addicted to opioids themselves, but “recovering”.
In what other business that claims to treat a medical condition would such a lack of professionalism be tolerated?
Especially when it is part of the response to a “national emergency” of opioid deaths? Continue reading
What Science Says To Do If Your Loved One Has An Opioid Addiction | FiveThirtyEight – by Maia Szalavitz
This is a well-referenced article providing an overview of the latest scientific understanding of opioid addiction – and the data show that pain patients are NOT likely to be addicted to their opioid medication.
Much of the advice given by treatment groups and programs ignores what the data say in a similar way that anti-vaccination or climate skeptic websites ignore science
The addictions field is neither adequately regulated nor effectively overseen.
“There’s nothing professional about it,
and it’s not evidence-based,” Continue reading
Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses – The New York Times – By LIZETTE ALVAREZ – JUNE 20, 2017
Thwarting Recovery [Sober houses in Delray Beach, Florida]
When several inpatient treatment centers, drawn by low taxes and warm weather, opened their doors here to addicts more than 35 years ago, it seemed a godsend to substance abusers.
Soon, other centers, mostly legitimate, followed. Recovering addicts lived together after treatment in supervised apartments or single-family homes.
The residences were known as sober homes, where addicts could recover far from temptations and drug-abusing friends back home. Continue reading
Addict brokers profit as desperate patients are ‘treated like paychecks’ – By DAVID ARMSTRONG and EVAN ALLEN — BOSTON GLOBE – MAY 28, 2017
Days after he relapsed on heroin last summer, Patrick Graney received an offer that was too good to turn down.
How would he like to get treatment in a beach town with a hipster vibe in South Florida — with all expenses paid, including airfare from his Massachusetts home?
Graney didn’t have to think long. He was on a flight south the next day. Two months later he was dead. Continue reading
Is Pain Medication the Gateway to Heroin? – By Zachary Siegel 04/10/16
With detail, clarity, and rigorous sourcing, Mr. Siegel has written a thorough debunking of the myth that opioids prescribed for pain lead to heroin use and overdose. He shows how destructive this myth is and how contradictory data has been overlooked by policy makers.
To say, as the CDC did, that both pain patients and doctors are the culprits in rising mortality is misguided for several reasons.
As the death toll from opioids and heroin rises, people are looking for answers, and also, someone to blame.
This may be another aspect of current anti-opioid policy development: all parties want to make sure the blame for so many overdoses does not fall on them. Continue reading
Rehabbing Our Ideas About Addiction Wall Street Journal – By David M. Cordani – June 16, 2016
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released guidelines discouraging prescriptions that last longer than a week.
The focus on prevention is immensely important. We all know that prevention is more efficient than treatment, and without it, we would soon have more patients suffering from substance use than we could afford to treat.
Additionally, long-term intensive recovery facilities have become the norm, even though there is very little evidence of their comparative effectiveness. Continue reading
Taboo topics in addiction treatment. An empirical review of clinical folklore. – PubMed – NCBI – J Subst Abuse Treat. 1993 May-Jun;
This article reviews 11 taboo topics, that is, research findings that question traditional assumptions and teachings of addiction treatment.
Though written over 20 years ago, this article makes it clear there has been virtually no progress in addiction thinking or treatment.
These same “taboos” are still open questions, while the addiction treatment industry refuses to acknowledge any doubt. Addiction treatment failure is almost guaranteed while the recovery industry keeps its head firmly planted in the sand. Continue reading
Five myths about heroin – 2016 – by Maia Szalavitz
But because drug policy has long been a political and cultural football, myths about opioid addiction abound. Here are some of the most dangerous — and how they do harm.
- Most heroin addiction starts with a legitimate pain prescription
People who misuse prescription pain relievers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin than those who don’t, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In the media, this fact is usually corrupted by failing to state that these are abusers of opioids, not patients taking their prescribed opioids: Only NON-Medical Opioid Use Leads to Heroin Use. Continue reading
PROP Ends Affiliation with Phoenix House – Pain News Network – Aug 2016 By Pat Anson
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), an influential and politically connected advocacy group that seeks to reduce opioid prescribing, is no longer directly affiliated with Phoenix House, which runs a nationwide chain of addiction treatment centers.
The Steve Rummler Hope Foundation is now the “fiscal sponsor” of PROP, which will allow PROP to collect tax deductible donations under the foundation’s 501 (c) (3) non-profit status.
IRS regulations allow non-profits to form partnerships with like-minded organizations, allowing other groups to essentially piggyback off their non-profit status and collect donations. Continue reading