Physicians Redefine Addiction

The staff and medical professionals at The Other Side Treatment Center (TOS) applaud the recent action taken by the American College of Physicians (ACP) to name opioid addiction for what it is, a treatable chronic disease, and not a character flaw or moral failing.

Our treatment facility has proclaimed the same message since day one. At TOS our core belief is that patients are best served by a comprehensive assessment that determines the medical, physical, and psychological factors that contribute to the patient’s chronic disease. The ACP position supports that core belief, and is a critical step in changing society’s attitude toward this epidemic, which will effectively increase the resources and support available for people struggling with opioid dependency .

“The guidelines call on clinicians to avoid opioids as first-line treatments for most chronic pain and, when prescribed for acute pain, to limit prescriptions to the the lowest dose possible for no more than 3 days, in most cases.”

“Other specific recommendations in the position paper include:

  • Stakeholders should assess the risks and benefits of removing or reducing criminal penalties for nonviolent offenses involving illicit drugs.
  • Health insurance should be required to cover mental health conditions, including the evidence-based treatment of substance use disorders, and abide parity rules.
  • The workforce of professionals qualified to treat substance use disorders should be expanded.
  • Training in the treatment of substance use disorders should be embedded throughout the continuum of medical education.
  • The effectiveness of public health interventions to combat substance use disorders and associated health problems should be studied.”

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