Wrong Answer, Dr. Satel

Less -- not more -- control will minimize the damage from opiate addiction. Having drunk the Kool-Aid, psychiatrist Sally Satel, MD, wants us to believe we can control others for their own good, a worn out prohibition strategy that causes more harm than good.

In her WSJ article last weekend, “Answers for an Opioid Epidemic,” she claims more “therapy” and “supervision” (control?), even forced via drug courts and even civil commitment, will save addicts from themselves.

She fails to mention, however, that the increase in heroin deaths stems from the foreseeable growth in the black market fostered by prohibition and the resultant inability to regulated the dose or purity.

Satel bemoans the “diversion” of buprenorphine (a legal, not medical, “problem”) which leads to availability of the drug for more people who need it.

If we really want to help opiate addicts, whose disease IS “a disease like any other,” we should dissolve the DEA, stop the war on drug (addicts), and make buprenorphine available to adults over the counter without a prescription, like more dangerous alcohol and more addictive nicotine (both of which kill many times more people every year.

Do a first step, Sally, and stop pretending we have control of that over which we do not, then recite the Serenity Prayer. Show us you have the wisdom to know the difference.


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