Addiction

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.

Preventing overdose deaths is not one-size-fits-all

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

An analysis of overdose deaths in the United States from 2000 to 2015 showed differences in death rates between racial and ethnic groups, and serves as a reminder that different parts of the population have been affected by the opioid epidemic in different ways, and treatment initiatives should reflect these variables.

Navigating the holidays in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

While the holiday season is a time of festivities and reconnecting with family, for people in recovery from substance use disorders, these specific situations and events can be especially stressful. For them it’s crucial to plan ahead and to make sure recovery remains the priority at all times.

Naloxone: An important tool, but not the solution to the opioid crisis

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

A person who receives naloxone for an overdose is typically observed for several hours in a hospital’s emergency department and then discharged, but what happens to them after that? ED staff at a Boston hospital studied the survival rate for these patients.

Looking under the hood: How brain science informs addiction treatment

Treatment of substance use disorders starts with the clinicians who see patients directly, but the ongoing search for more effective treatment options that will help the widest range of people begins with brain science.

Addiction, the opioid crisis, and family pain

Laura Kiesel

Contributor

The changes in understanding around substance use disorders are making treatment more readily available to those who need it and reducing the stigma attached to addiction, but may make those with addiction in their family history feel that the change has come too late for them.

Too many pain pills after surgery: When good intentions go awry

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on lives. There are many factors behind this crisis, some of which may be surprising. A reasonable and well-intentioned effort to reduce and relieve pain can inadvertently lead to a potentially life-threatening addiction, but there are some surprisingly simple ways to avoid such scenarios.