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Controlled Access to Methadone Fuels ‘The War on Recovery’ in California

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Despite methadone’s proven effectiveness, access to the drug has been blocked across the health care system – and California is among the most restrictive states in the nation. (Johnrob via Getty Images)

The specter of the opioid epidemic has shadowed life in California for nearly three decades, and opioid deaths in the state are rising precipitously. Physicians have long advocated the use of life-saving opioid medications methadone and buprenorphine to treat addiction. Despite methadone’s proven effectiveness, access to the drug has been blocked across the health care system – and California is among the most restrictive states in the nation. This week, new federal regulations take effect that could expand access to methadone treatment. STAT addiction reporter Lev Facher examined access to these medications in a recent investigation titled “The War on Recovery.” We’ll talk about what this shift at the national level means for addiction treatment in California. And we’ll hear from you: Has access to methadone had an impact on your life or recovery?

Guests:

Lev Facher, addiction reporter, STAT News

Leslie Suen, physician and researcher, University of California San Francisco

Jordan Scott, disabled drug user in recovery; organizing coordinator, Pennsylvania Harm Reduction network

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