Florida Must Address Mounting Heroin Crisis With Addiction Treatment

The inclusion of these questions has also helped drive demand for opioid use, as providers feel beholden to the survey and not always to what is in the best interest of the patient.

BARBARA BOND

ALAMEDA, CALIF.

To the Editor:

One element of a successful health initiative that is consistently absent in all discussions of the opioid crisis is that of leadership.

We have heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Health and Human Services Department, the surgeon general, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration, yet no single capable individual has been designated to be in the driver’s seat of a response to the opioid crisis.

All of the brilliant countermeasures discussed, like the plan set forth by Andrew Kolodny of Brandeis University to obtain sufficient funding for a national medication assistance intervention, will not succeed without designated leadership. Other countries have a health minister to lead such initiatives, but in the United States the need for a drug czar with the authority to coordinate health and enforcement initiatives is even greater because of the complexity of our health care system.

GERALD BUSCH, BELLAIRE, TEX.

The writer is an addiction psychiatrist and chairman of the Houston Harris County Office of Drug Policy.

To the Editor:

Four years ago, my husband took a job in Wiesbaden, so we moved with our three young children to Germany. I was six months pregnant at the time.

I agree that the American medical community is “largely responsible for the epidemic” of opioid abuse. In my experience, German doctors regularly prescribe natural remedies instead of drugs.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/28/opinion/opioid-crisis.html

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