In a draft report, the cross-party group of lawmakers argue that doing so would force officials to prioritise attention and funding to the issue.
“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks“, the authors write.
One third of Americans were prescribed opioids in 2015, the group found.
The report also recommends that doctors curb excessive prescriptions of opioid medications, and improve access to pain management treatment techniques.
The complicating factor — and why policies don’t work when they chase the eradication of one drug, only to focus on eradicating the next popular drug of choice for “ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking” — is that many people use opioids and alcohol and cigarettes. And if they receive no help to get at why they’re using legal or illegal substances, they will move on to another, more easily accessible drug when the current drug they’re using becomes more difficult to find.
“It has been abundantly clear to me and reinforced over a 40-year career,” continues Sumrok, “that patients desire, and respond better to, sensitive and informed care. From the Navajo Nation to Appalachia to Memphis and from the mountains of Honduras to the jungles of Amazonia, people regard respect as the sine qua non of quality care.”
Identifying barriers to care, which include basics such as how people can find good care easily (most of Sumrok’s patients find out about him through word of mouth), being wary of the treatment because it isn’t explained to them, or — what Sumrok hears a lot — being judged or talked down to instead of given understanding and respect.
“In Shelby County, people complain about barriers to care, which many people think is because of economics,” she says. “But it may not be just economics that is keeping people from accessing treatment; it may be more about being judged, and not knowing what the treatment looks like.”
Two Best Friends, 7,896 Miles, 22 States, 31 Days, a National Party Convention, and a 35-Foot RV.
Facing Addiction Across America chronicles the journey of two best friends as they travel from their home state of California to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, filming episodes of their journey.
Substance use disorder impacts 1/3 of American households. Of people who need treatment, 90% do not receive it. The government has spent over $1 trillion on the failed War on Drugs. In the middle of the most urgent public health crisis in our country’s history – with a life lost every 4 minutes – understanding addiction and recovery through lived experience is critical for our public policy leaders to wake-up and take immediate action.
Ryan Hampton and Garrett Hade met in addiction treatment in 2012 and have experienced first-hand the struggle of addiction and the opportunities that come from living in recovery. Ryan was elected as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and during his cross-country drive in a 35-foot RV with Garrett, they met with people still struggling with addiction, family members affected, and those who have lost loved ones. They also visited with inmates, incarcerated as a direct result of their addiction, successful members of society who have managed to maintain long-term recovery, and everyone in-between.
sometimes you need news like this delivered with humor or it would be too much to bear!
I just saw that Foundations Recovery Network have Glennon Doyle Melton as the Keynote speaker for the Innovations in Behavioral Health Care conference in Nashville, June 19-20, 2017. Definitely a great speaker and a great conference.
From a talk given by Swami Satchidananda during a workshop on “Addiction and Spirituality” at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville. He uncovers the root cause of addiction and how to address it most effectively.
You use the term “deaths of despair”. I’m wondering how you would define “despair” in this context?
We think of drug, alcohol and suicide deaths. In a sense, they are all suicide – either carried out quickly (for example, with a gun) or slowly, with drugs and alcohol…
We are working with a model of “cumulative disadvantage” to help us make sense of the rise in despair…
Addiction and mental health programs are essential. Working to stop the over-prescription of opioids is essential. Policies that make available educational opportunities for people who don’t want a college degree – that allow people to develop the skills that will be rewarded in the 21st-century economy – would make a big difference.”