Trump opioid plan vague, lacks funding

first_imgHe explained to a House committee on Wednesday that there is a “difference between a physical dependence and an addiction.”Many patients successfully overcome their addiction to opioids with a managed course of methadone or buprenorphine while undergoing counseling.The FDA is looking into ways to allow medication-assisted therapy to be prescribed more widely, and to reflect that some people may need to be treated for life.Getting the therapy to the millions of Americans who need it will take a concerted, well-funded effort by the federal government and the states.The president’s own commission on opioid addiction is reportedly considering calling for wider use of the treatment in its forthcoming report.If so, Trump should heed its recommendation and direct his administration to act accordingly. He also promised to seal the borders against illegal drugs and to prosecute traffickers.Absent from this list is something called medication-assisted therapy.The treatment uses methadone and buprenorphine to safely help addicts through recovery, prevent fatal overdoses and enable people to work and live normal lives, studies and experience show.Yet the U.S. government restricts their use to specially trained doctors, who can treat only a limited number of patients.And too many Americans believe the myth that prescribing methadone or buprenorphine — both opioids — simply replaces one addiction for another, and that it’s better for addicts to simply abstain.Trump’s former secretary of Health and Human Services questioned the value of medication-assisted therapy, and insurance companies have been reluctant to cover it.Fortunately, Scott Gottlieb, head of the Food and Drug Administration, realizes the value of the treatment. In sweeping if vague terms, President Donald Trump on Thursday declared opioid addiction a “national health emergency.” What he didn’t do is talk about one of the most effective ways to address it —or how much it would all cost.The strategy Trump outlined includes training doctors to prescribe painkillers more carefully, encouraging scientists to create nonaddictive alternatives, urging children not to start taking opioids and using drug courts to help the addicted find treatment. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared on Bloomberg View: More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img

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