Addiction

“What ifs”: An underappreciated side effect of addiction

Bill Williams

Guest Contributor

The pain of losing a loved one to an overdose never goes away completely, and it’s tempting (if not inevitable) for survivors to look back at places where the outcome could have changed. But sharing the truth about addiction, regardless of how painful, may help others.

Prescription monitoring programs: Helpful or harmful?

Prescription monitoring programs are databases that keep track of prescriptions issued to individuals. While their intent is to identify drug misuse, a PMP may incorrectly flag certain people as misusing medications that they legitimately need.

Should you carry the opioid overdose rescue drug naloxone?

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The Surgeon General has issued an advisory recommending that people carry and know how to use naloxone, and although it is an effective treatment for overdose, it does not address the larger issues around the opioid crisis.

Opioids in the household: “Sharing” pain pills is too common

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Many people have taken a friend’s or family member’s pain medication on occasion, but the ongoing opioid crisis has drawn attention to such behavior, forcing doctors, hospice workers, and other care providers to tighten their procedures and track quantities and dosages of pills more carefully.

How to welcome back a colleague who is in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

If a colleague has been absent from work for treatment of a substance use disorder, that person’s return to work may be awkward or uncomfortable, and coworkers may feel similarly. Empathy, understanding, and a willingness to listen will help returning workers feel welcomed back.

When gambling might be a problem

Excessive gambling is now recognized as an addictive disorder by the American Psychological Association. Asking yourself if gambling has adversely affected your life is a good way to determine whether it’s a problem that needs treatment.

Involuntary treatment for substance use disorder: A misguided response to the opioid crisis

Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH

Guest Contributor
Wendy E. Parmet, JD

Guest Contributor

A proposed expansion of the existing laws in Massachusetts that allow involuntary commitment of a person with substance use disorder may be motivated by genuine concern, but available data suggest this approach is less effective than voluntary treatment, and may even be more dangerous.

The ghost in the basement

Bill Williams

Guest Contributor

A father struggles to understand the terrible course of his son’s heroin addiction and the loss of a child who eventually died from an accidental overdose.

Working through workplace stigma: Coming back after an addiction

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

For many people, the most significant challenge when returning to the workplace after treatment for a substance use disorder is overcoming the doubts that coworkers may have about working with an addict. But doubt may weigh just as heavily on the person returning to work.

Comparing medications to treat opioid use disorder

While there are two medications used to treat opioid use disorder that can be prescribed on an outpatient basis, a study comparing them found interesting differences in treatment results.