According to a forthcoming study in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, there’s little evidence that opioid addicts benefit from involuntary commitment, and the “legal and ethical” concerns raised by such strategies should make policymakers think twice about employing them.
The White House’s national strategy to combat the opioid crisis, unveiled last week, would expand a particular kind of addiction treatment in federal criminal justice settings: a single drug, manufactured by a single company, with mixed views on the evidence regarding its use. The drug is Vivitrol, manufactured by Alkermes, a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.
A New York State pilot program to make naloxone kits available to inmates on their release from prison is a “promising” model for other states seeking to reduce opioid deaths among America’s most vulnerable population, says the Vera Institute of Justice.
The suit, described as unique by state officials, names 59 companies and six individuals, including Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Endo, Janssen, and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Arkansas ranks 2nd in the nation behind Alabama for misuse of opioids.
The 21st Century Cures Act provided $500 million to deal with the opioid crisis but three-quarters of it remains unspent. The law’s two-year spending span makes it difficult for treatment providers to build long-term programs. “This is a total failure,” says one expert.
A majority of Americans favor marijuana legalization, but opinions can diverge sharply at the local level. There are tensions between those who want to treat it as a business and those who see it as an opportunity for social justice.