If we really want to stop the overdose epidemic, we need to get serious about providing the only treatment known to reduce the death rate by 50 percent to 70 percent or more: indefinite, potentially lifelong, maintenance on a legal opioid drug like methadone or buprenorphine. The data on maintenance is clear. If you increase access to it, death, crime and infectious disease drop; if you cut it short, all of those harms rise.
Prince was supposed to see a doctor, known for using buprenorphine to treat addiction, just a day after his death. But most patients — even most celebrity patients — do not actually get this sort of evidence-based care.
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