To End The Opioid Crisis…

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To End The Opioid Crisis…

…Doctors Must Acknowledge We Helped Create It

I’m a physician who specializes in addiction medicine, which means I’ve been busy lately. Busy treating some of the millions of Americans affected by the opioid crisis. Busy advocating for my colleagues in primary care to do the same.

In lectures and workshops, I ask them to start prescribing medications to help treat opioid addiction. I tell them patients are dying — and have died — because they are unable to find providers willing to help them. I remind them that drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for adults under 50 and that a medication called buprenorphine, which they have the power to prescribe, can cut that death rate by more than half.

This is a crisis, I tell them. We must act.

Not infrequently, my colleagues — smart, compassionate, dedicated doctors, nurses and physician assistants — refuse.

They tell me they bought the pharmaceutical company line once already, back when primary care providers were told to take care of patients’ pain and then given no resources other than opioids to do so.

They tell me they were taught that opioids weren’t addictive if prescribed to a patient in pain.

They describe how they were taught, as I was, that they needed to ask all their patients, every time, if they hurt, where they hurt and how much.

It turns out providers often weren’t helping those patients; we harmed them. Maybe even killed them. We helped start the opioid epidemic. So no, they tell me, they will not buy the promise of a magic pill again.

I want to shake them and scream, “This is not the same thing!” Opioids for chronic pain often have only moderate efficacy and carry significant risks; buprenorphine saves lives and helps decrease risk of HIV infection. I want them to stop arguing and just prescribe it.

Read the entire story at The Huffington Post


Part 1: God Conscious

Tom is committed to the CTBR mission to #ENDADDICTION throughout the world and to help all the broken learn how to become free and Live in The Go. He makes it a priority to work with alcoholics one on one whenever possible.

Tom Williams is the CEO of Came to Believe Recovery since 2018. Attending well over 100 retreats made Tom uniquely qualified to lead the movement. While Came to Believe Retreats have been around for decades, this coalition of leaders was essentially a startup, requiring universal branding, training, and materials for all events. Tom is a veteran of the US Army and spent 15 years as a fitness professional. Once RECOVERED, Tom earned an undergraduate degree in business followed by an MBA — graduating with high honors. Tom worked as a recruiter for Centenary University and advanced to become the Director of Business Development. Tom has a passion for running and weight training and his favorite hobby is playing guitar.

Casarah joined Came to Believe Recovery in 2021. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Political Science from Muhlenberg College and has a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from George Washington University. Casarah previously worked for Morris County Prevention is Key-C.A.R.E.S as the peer services coordinator. At C.A.R.E.S, Casarah ran recovery meetings, did outreach to high risk populations/homeless populations, handed out Narcan while teaching the individuals how to use it, and supported all individuals that entered the recovery center. She has taken training such as Peer Recovery Specialist Training, Mental Health First Aid, and Trans/Queer/LGBTQ+ Cultural Competence. Casarah entered this field because she wanted to be a part of creating a continuum of care for those with substance use disorders and others struggling that is based on compassion and unconditional support.