Drug Addiction

Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Insurers use pharmacy benefits managers to tilt playing field

AS LEADERS OF organizations dealing with two of the most difficult chronic conditions to treat – hemophilia and HIV/AIDS – we consistently hear stories about how patients living with these diseases are given the run around by insurers to obtain affordable access to the medications they need to manage their diseases. It’s an uphill battle;(...)

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Drug treatment for drug addiction

Drug treatment for drug addiction

The debate over medication-assisted treatment continues

It’s an approach that research evidence and many in recovery say makes sense — but one that some advocates say has it all wrong. One of the most effective ways of treating those suffering from opioid addiction is with drugs. There are two types of drugs used. Methadone and a newer drug, buprenorphine, are opioids(...)

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Drug treatment for drug addiction

It’s an approach that research evidence and many in recovery say makes sense — but one that some advocates say has it all wrong. One of the most effective ways of treating those suffering from opioid addiction is with drugs. There are two types of drugs used. Methadone and a newer drug, buprenorphine, are opioids(...)

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Withholding methadone from inmates is wrong

Withholding methadone from inmates is wrong

Addiction treatment is effective and inexpensive

I WILL NEVER forget the pained look on my patient Jorge’s face when I asked him why he stopped taking methadone to treat his opioid dependency. He was in my office, answering detailed intake questions to resume treatment for his addiction. Jorge came to me after a stint in county jail. He could not post(...)

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Worcester County emerging as marijuana central

Worcester County emerging as marijuana central

16 applications filed there; no other county has more than 5

WITH THE JULY 1 TARGET DATE for legal pot sales looming, Worcester County is emerging as marijuana central in Massachusetts. According to data presented at the Cannabis Control Commission meeting on Tuesday, residents of the central Massachusetts county that stretches from the state’s northern border to the Connecticut and Rhode Island state lines have filed(...)

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Recovery coaches could be game changers on opioid addiction

Recovery coaches could be game changers on opioid addiction

Legislature should move to adopt new credentialing for those working most closely with patients

IN 2017, five people died each day from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts. That’s nearly 2,000 families who lost a loved one. The opioid epidemic is one of the most serious public health crises of our time, and even though it causes such sadness, there are also glimmers of hope that can be seen in the(...)

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Judging the judge

Judging the judge

Anger rises over actions of Judge Timothy Feeley

A protest last week outside a Salem courthouse featured a refrain made familiar by the scholarly legal eagles who regularly populate the president’s rally, where they apply only the most reasoned conclusions to complicated issues. “Lock him up,” shouted about 200 people gathered outside the Ruane Judicial Center, according to this Salem News account. The(...)

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A bridge to opportunity

A bridge to opportunity

A Long Island addiction recovery campus can't wait

IN 2014, THE OPIOID crisis passed two critical local milestones: Massachusetts’ fatal opioid overdose rate rose to more than double the national average; and the city of Boston lost an addiction recovery facility on Long Island, when the crumbling 63-year-old bridge to the island was condemned and closed. The island was evacuated, eliminating its 225(...)

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What’s Walsh’s real end game?

What’s Walsh’s real end game?

New Long Island Bridge to treatment campus is unlikely Boston's goal

MARTY WALSH DID NOT BECOME the mayor of the City of Boston by being a stupid man. When anyone – anyone – looks at the cost-benefit analysis of rebuilding the Long Island Bridge instead of improving ferry service to that island, it is quickly obvious that it is a terrible investment, a terrible deal for taxpayers, and(...)

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Involuntary commitment of drug users wrong approach

Involuntary commitment of drug users wrong approach

There's no evidence that detention is effective in treating addiction

MASSACHUSETTS IS AIMING to tackle the opioid crisis head on. On Friday, the Joint House and Senate committee dealing with substance abuse is set to move forward on major legislation known as the CARE Act. Though the bill includes many good measures, it would also expand the dubious practice of involuntarily sending drug users to rehab. And that(...)

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