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Cato Expert: We’re Misdiagnosing the Opioid Crisis

Gov. Roy Cooper is one of just three governors that are serving on the Trump Administration’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The president believes the situation is so dire that he’s declared a health emergency in our country. But Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, writes that we’ve misdiagnosed the opioid crisis.

Since the late 1990s states have established prescription drug monitoring boards that maintain surveillance on providers and patients and have a chilling effect on prescribers. All 50 states have them today, and recent studies have shown they have had no effect on the overdose rate but may be driving desperate pain patients to the black market in search of relief.

For example, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State University reported in May, prescription drug monitoring boards “were not associated with reductions in drug overdose mortality rates and may be related to increased mortality from illicit drugs and other, unspecified drugs.”

Donna Martinez / VP of Marketing and Communications

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...

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