“I would have welcomed the help, and it would have changed my life.”

A new Reuters story on newborns affected by the opioid epidemic highlights the inadequate treatment provided to addicted pregnant women. In America, a baby is born dependent on opioids every 19 minutes. But doctors aren’t alerting social services to thousands of these infants, many of whom come to harm in families shattered by narcotics. The … Continue reading “I would have welcomed the help, and it would have changed my life.”

What we miss when we focus on opioid treatment and recovery

Fortunately, there’s been growing concern that advocates, policy makers, and media have to narrowly focused on the opioid crisis. Up to this point, it hasn’t reached the level of media coverage. USA Today is one of the first to publish an article that explores the limitations of the nation’s focus on opioid treatment and recovery: … Continue reading What we miss when we focus on opioid treatment and recovery

Initiating buprenorphine treatment during short‐term inpatient ‘detoxification’

A new study on initiation of buprenorphine maintenance was just published. The press release describes the intervention as an alternative to “revolving door” detox and relapse cycles: “patients who start long-term buprenorphine treatment at a detox program, instead of going through detox and getting a referral for such treatment at discharge, are less likely to … Continue reading Initiating buprenorphine treatment during short‐term inpatient ‘detoxification’

Addiction treatment, palliative care, or both?

So . . . Monday I posted about a study of a low barrier buprenorphine program. Toward the end of that post, I raised the tension between treatment-as-harm-reduction and treatment-as-recovery-facilitation and shared a quote from an emergency physician questioning the evidence-base for buprenorphine dispensed in emergency departments, as well as its effectiveness at facilitating “sobriety.” … Continue reading Addiction treatment, palliative care, or both?

Low barrier buprenorphine treatment for persons experiencing homelessness and injecting heroin

There was a lot of enthusiasm about this study on twitter recently. It appears to be based on this program highlighted in the NY Times last year. . . . city health workers are taking to the streets to find homeless people with opioid use disorder and offering them buprenorphine prescriptions on the spot. The … Continue reading Low barrier buprenorphine treatment for persons experiencing homelessness and injecting heroin

“full recovery or amplified recovery” — toward typologies of recovery?

Recently proposed definitions of recovery could be characterized as defining it downward (or expanding the boundaries outward). I’ve expressed concern that these proposed boundaries are so broad that most people who currently self-identify as in recovery will not feel a shared identity with the people that advocates are trying to expand the boundaries to include. … Continue reading “full recovery or amplified recovery” — toward typologies of recovery?

More on “alternative endpoints”

I’ve posted before on “alternative endpoints” for treating opioid use disorders, which is the idea that research on treatments should not just focus on abstinence as an outcome. There is now a push for alternative endpoints for alcohol use disorders: Reductions in alcohol use bring about significant improvement in adverse consequences, mental health status, and … Continue reading More on “alternative endpoints”