Good News, Bad News –
Sept. 20 2018 – According to the Surgeon General’s 2016 report on addiction, 90 percent of people never get medical care of any kind for their substance problem. Bringing that number down by three percent is not a success. Azar wrote an op-ed on Wednesday claiming that “dedicated efforts from the federal government on down to local governments, faith communities, families, and individuals are working. Since President Trump took office, we have seen a 264 percent increase in the prescribing of [overdose antidote] naloxone, and a 16 percent increase in the prescribing of one form of addiction treatment.” Azar added that fewer Americans are using opioids, as well. But America doesn’t have a heroin problem, or even an opioids problem—it has an addiction problem. People don’t die because they got a “bad batch” of heroin. That may be the last thing that happened before their death, but what really killed them is the fact that we don’t invest in effective prevention, recovery supports, sober living, qualified behavioral healthcare, and consistent, compassionate care for substance use disorder.