More widespread availability of anti-addiction medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone would help with the opioid crisis, Sally Satel writes in Politico, as would “a better addiction treatment infrastructure.”
Motivated patients also benefit greatly from cognitive behavioral therapy and from the hard work of recovery—healing family rifts, reintegrating into the workforce, creating healthy social connections, finding new modes of fulfillment. This is why treatment centers that offer an array of services, including medical care, family counseling and social services, have a better shot at promoting recovery.
Although overprescribing opioids has created a greater supply of pills for sale, restricting patients’ access to opioids would not help, Satel says. She cites Thomas Kline, a Raleigh internist who has chronicled 27 pain-related suicides among people who have had their opioids forcibly reduced or withdrawn “as recommended by the CDC and by Andrew Kolodny, M.D. and his “Physicians for Responsible Opiate Prescribing” (PROP).”