Some Doctors Say Focus Of Opioid Addiction Treatment Must Shift From Medication To Long-Term Recovery | CommonHealth

BALTIMORE While addiction treatment providers are increasingly recommending that medication be used to help wean people off opioids, some doctors are concerned there is now too much of a focus on medication and not enough on the harder work of long-term recovery from substance use disorder.During the annual American Society of Addiction Medicine conference in Baltimore last month, a frequently heard statistic was that every 20 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from an opioid overdose.“Imagine if we had someone in America dying from terrorism every 20 minutes,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said. “You wouldn’t have to just take your shoes off at the airport, you’d have to take everything off.”Shumlin became a leading political voice on the opioid epidemic after dedicating his 2014 state of the state address to the problem in Vermont. Shumlin told the 1,800 people at the Baltimore conference that the nation needs their help to reduce the 250 million prescriptions written for opioid painkillers every year.“Do we have 250 million Americans in chronic pain? Is that what you guys think?” he asked. “Why are we asking pharma to find ways to treat opioid addiction when we can find a direct way — stop passing out painkillers like candy, America. That’s my message. That should be your message.”

Source: Some Doctors Say Focus Of Opioid Addiction Treatment Must Shift From Medication To Long-Term Recovery | CommonHealth

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