Maryland’s preparation for the full implementation of health care reform on January 1, 2014 offers an exciting opportunity to make significant changes to our substance abuse treatment system. Open Society Institute-Baltimore and our grantees have spent many hours working to ensure that comprehensive substance abuse services are part of the essential health benefits in Maryland. This is an enormous step forward and will undoubtedly increase the number of individuals who are able to access substance abuse treatment next year.
Wasted: discharging patients from outpatient treatmentMonday, February 25, 2013
Is chocolate the real gateway drug?Tuesday, January 22, 2013
You’ve probably heard about the term “gateway drug.” Generally, the theory posits, a gateway drug is the first drug a person takes that then leads them on the way to “harsher” drugs and ultimately leads the way to addiction. Recently, a report was published in the Journal of School Health concluding that alcohol is the new gateway drug, displacing marijuana from this infamous label.
Make addiction treatment accessibleMonday, October 08, 2012
The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy last year came out with the report Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. Its four central recommendations focused on education, tracking and monitoring, proper medication disposal, and enforcement. This is another glaring example of our 100 years of failed drug policy. Supply reduction has not worked and will not work. If this new “crisis” is truly an epidemic, then there should be a health response to it.
Addiction is a disease of cravingsMonday, September 10, 2012
Addiction is truly a brain disease and not simply a behavior that someone can stop automatically. It is neurochemically driven, and not due to “moral weakness” or lack of “will power.” Unfortunately, it is one of the few chronic diseases where normally caring health care providers treat patients poorly because of misguided notions like “it’s their own fault, they should just stop using drugs.”