After President Trump's speech regarding the opioid crisis earlier this week, Healio Family Medicine did a follow-up story asking addiction experts what they thought of the new plan (which is outlined in our infographic below). Among the experts was (no surprise here) Dr. Larry Greenblatt, DGIM Professor of Medicine.
Although the speech was largely lacking in specifics, Dr. Greenblatt thought one of the ideas outlined seemed plausible and potentially beneficial. In the article, Greenblatt stated:
“He offered treatment to inmates as they are leaving prison. This population is especially vulnerable to drug overdoses and by offering them treatment, there is less chance for these former inmates to become repeat offenders and instead become productive members of society. Hence, this is the right thing to do, and will save lives and money.”
However, Greenblatt added that he wished Trump could have discussed funding for a variety of other programs.
“He could have talked about providing federal funding for needle exchange programs, treatments for the uninsured, safe injection sites and programs to go into the hardest hit communities to provide education and outreach to heroin users that encourages them to go into treatment,” he said.
Greenblatt also pointed out ensuring that Medicaid facilities had at least 16 beds for opioid treatment, however well intentioned, was unlikely to significantly impact the opioid crisis, since most opioid treatment is outpatient.