Wen: A lot went wrong with the tobacco settlement. Let’s not make the same mistakes with opioids.

When I was health commissioner in Baltimore, my single greatest frustration was inaction around the opioid epidemic. Every day, more than 130 Americans die from opioid overdose, and Baltimore has not been spared. In 2017, nearly 700 city residents died from this preventable tragedy. Even though I had written a blanket prescription that made the opioid antidote naloxone readily available, limited funding forced first responders to ration this lifesaving medication. Science is unequivocal that addiction is a disease that can be treated. But in Baltimore, and throughout the United States, only a fraction of patients with addiction are getting the treatment they need. (Balt. Sun)

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