Opioid Epidemic Solutions

Our notes on the opioid epidemic and potential solutions.


Takeaways and notes from research into possible solutions for the opioid epidemic.


Massively reduce opioid overdoses

Most promising:

  • Medication assisted treatments
  • Harm reduction specifically focused on avoiding overdoses: avoid mixing, get naloxone, don’t use alone (look into — how much would this cost, would it work, are there other examples of harm reduction working in the US for other drugs, for these drugs, or in other countries where it worked?)
  • More harm reduction: supervised injection, provision of MATs, syringe access
  • HHS: better prescribing practice for long term. Short-term: naloxone access, and MAT access. Report has good specifics on proposed ways of doing so: https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/opioid-abuse-us-and-hhs-actions-address-opioid-drug-related-overdoses-and-deaths


Look further into:

“$920 million to support cooperative agreements with States to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. States will receive funds based on the severity of the epidemic and on the strength of their strategy to respond to it. States can use these funds to expand treatment capacity and make services more affordable.“


Who is this $$ going to?

$10s of billions needed each year? That’s a shit load of spend. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/3/16079772/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdoses

Dig into how they’ll roll out these things, what they’ll fund, etc?

Longer term:

Not that helpful / not worth prioritizing in the short-term:

  • Better pain management stuff, access to physical therapy
  • Better practices for prescriptions from doctors

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