Fed Up Vermont: 'Hub and spoke' a flawed approach to opioid addiction - vtdigger.org

Fed Up Vermont: 'Hub and spoke' a flawed approach to opioid addiction - vtdigger.org
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Fed Up Vermont Says Hub and Spoke is a Flawed Approach to Opioid Addiction

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Wendy Galbraith of Manchester, Geri Gilmore of Arlington, Jo Lambling of Manchester Center, and Gretchen Lima of Dorset, all co-founders of Fed Up Vermont.

Each of the four of us — founders of Fed Up Vermont — have suffered devastating personal losses as a result of family members having developed addictions to opioids. Among us we have children and siblings who have lost their lives. We have children as well who simply have gone missing, condemned to lifetime chemical dependencies, ruined futures and lost relationships. We live daily with profound grief. We live, too, with the knowledge that our losses — like the losses suffered by so many families around the country — were caused by addictions started innocuously enough by opioid prescriptions written by physicians.

Originally published on VTDigger.com on April 9, 2018

Despite the heightened awareness of the dangers of prescription opioids, each of us has heard, shockingly, from friends and neighbors in our communities about doctors who continue to this very day to offer, unsolicited, prescriptions for opioids and we continue to hear about doctors who write prescriptions in quantities that far exceed the non-binding prescription-writing guidelines that the Vermont Department of Health wisely wrote two years ago.

As a result, we are each profoundly disappointed by the refusal of legislative leadership to take up and permit testimony and debate on a proposal (one that has the bipartisan support of scores of legislators) that would create a real incentive for the entire medical community in Vermont to come together through peer review and self-regulation to deal with and curb errant prescription-writing practices.

It appears to us very clearly that the current administration, the medical community, and certain legislators are intractably committed to the Vermont “hub-and-spoke” opioid treatment model as our primary strategy to deal with opioid addiction. That model, which bureaucrats and the big-business healthcare industry claim to represent the “gold standard” approach to opioid addiction, emphasizes treatment over prevention. The strategy focuses on supplying enhanced public funding to the healthcare industry to provide post-addiction medical care. The strategy also commits substantial public monies to be paid to pharmaceutical companies for suboxone and Vivitrol. It is an approach, we submit, that perversely rewards the healthcare and pharma industry for a problem largely of its own creation.

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Fed Up Vermont: 'Hub and spoke' a flawed approach to opioid addiction
vtdigger.org
Editor's note: This commentary is by Wendy Galbraith of Manchester, Geri Gilmore of Arlington, Jo Lambling of Manchester Center, and Gretchen Lima of Dorset, all co-founders of Fed Up Vermont. Each of the four of us — founders of Fed Up Vermont ...

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