Ending the Opioid and Overdose Crisis

Claiming the lives of more than 81,000 people from May 2019 to June 2020, the drug overdose crisis in the US has only grown worse in recent times. In order to inform efforts proposed by the Biden-Harris administration for tackling this problem, a team led by PISC Senior Scholar Shoshana Aronowitz, PhD, and including postdoctoral fellow Austin Kilaru, MD, Senior Scholar Margaret Lowenstein, MD, MSHP, and Executive Committee member Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH, MA, aimed to describe evidence-based solutions to consider. The authors note that their recommendations are focused "on the evidence and our experience in three areas: reducing the demand for opioids through policies that increase access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services; reducing the harms from opioid use through strategies that reduce morbidity and mortality; and reducing the supply of opioids through opioid stewardship that limits prescribing by the medical community and promotes adequate pain management." The brief also addresses the negative impact of the pharmaceutical industry, recommending best practices for targeting settlement funds.

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