February 6, 2018 – Managing Crisis


Anchor lead: What’s the best way to handle the opioid crisis? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Fewer opioid medications are being prescribed, that much is certain, but have deaths relative to opioid overdose declined? The most recent data haven’t yet shown such a trend, and Eric Strain, an addiction expert at Johns Hopkins, says careful analysis of this multifaceted problem must continue.

Strain: I think we’re in a somewhat reactive mode right now with respect to the opioid crisis. Culturally we’re looking for quick answers to a problem that took several years to develop, and I’m not sure that there are any quick answers to it, so I think you see strategies like let’s give everybody naloxone as a way to address the opioid crisis. That can be helpful but that’s only a small part of an overall strategy and I think that we need to be cautious in thinking that we’ll find some magic solution that’s going to solve the opioid crisis overnight.  :33

Strain is also concerned that if deaths start to wane attention and resources to address the problem may be diverted elsewhere, a move he calls premature. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.