A doctor’s dilemma: Using opioids to treat addiction

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National News

February 20, 2019 - 10:29 AM

A heroin user holds suboxone near where John Jay College of Criminal Justice students are interviewing heroin users as part of a project involving Bronx drug users, on August 8, 2017, in New York City. GETTY IMAGES/SPENCER PLATT/TNS

PHILADELPHIA — Doctors need no special training to prescribe the opioid pain pills widely blamed for fueling a national addiction crisis.

But prescribing the medicine considered the gold standard for addiction treatment is another story entirely.

Opioid-based medications that help curb cravings, prevent overdoses, and allow drug users to get through the day without the fear of painful withdrawal have been proven to help people achieve lasting recovery far more reliably than quitting without medical help.

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