November 13, 2018 – Treating Addiction


Anchor lead: How can we help people addicted to drugs without adequate numbers of providers? Elizabeth Tracey reports

The journal Science has just reported that our problem with drug overdose deaths actually began in 1979, and has been rising steadily since. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says this puts the onus on healthcare providers of all disciplines.

Strain: The healthcare system should be constantly screening people for potential substance use disorders. That’s critical just like we should be screening for hypertension or diabetes or any other medical condition. We need better tools for doing that, because right now most of them are self-report tools, but it should be part of our routine practice.  :20

Strain says treatment also must be widely available.

Strain: Most depression is not treated by psychiatrists it’s treated by primary care physicians. We just need to continue to push forward with all medical providers doing those sorts of services including treatment of substance use disorders.  :13

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.