To Combat the Opioid Epidemic, We Must Be Honest About All Its Causes

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<p>As President Trump is poised to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, it’s useful to examine the full extent of its causes. Some — doctors overprescribing opioids, pharmaceutical and insurance companies trying to maximize profits — are well known. </p><p>But a growing body of research examines the powerful part socioeconomic forces play in the epidemic. The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, M.D., and Shanoor Seervai point out in <em>Harvard Business Review</em> that unemployment, lack of health insurance, and poverty are all linked to opioid addiction.</p>
<p>They argue that without acknowledging and addressing the widespread economic hardship affecting many parts of the United States, the opioid crisis is not going to go away.</p> Read more