Update on the Opioid Wars

July 24, 2017

Significant progress has been made in containing the opioid epidemic, but new threats loom. Thomas Kosten, MD, an addiction psychiatrist, takes a brief look.

Thomas Kosten, MD, who has been working in addictions for 35 years, reports here about the significant progress that has been made in the opioid epidemic in the form of medication-assisted pharmacotherapies (buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone maintenance) and civilian use of naloxone. These treatments have helped contain major aspects of the opioid epidemic as well as have also helped control the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kosten discusses the views of the secretary of HHS on these medication-assisted treatments, and also talks about the relatively new threat of fentanyl overdose…the 100 different varieties of fentanyl that are typically not detectable urine toxicologies.

Dr. Kosten is JH Waggoner Chair and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Immunology & Pathology and Co-Director, Dan Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at The Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Dr Kosten is also Editor of the American Journal on Addictions, the official journal of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

More by Thomas Kosten, MDSubstance Use Disorders: Cautions, Considerations, and Treatment StrategiesEmerging Treatments and Pharmacogenetics for Cocaine Use Disorder