Not medicine, God: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price recommends faith in God as the solution to the current opioid crisis.
Price, a medical doctor, claims faith-based treatment is better than medication-assisted treatment when treating opioid addiction, despite a great deal of scientific evidence to the contrary.
Price, while touring communities that have been hit especially hard by painkiller and heroin overdoses, spoke out in favor of faith-based treatment programs while expressing disdain for science-based. medication-assisted treatment.
Charlotte Gazette-Mail reports:
Asked about drug treatment options, Price touted faith-based programs while showing less support for medication-assisted programs in which addicts are weaned off heroin with other opioids like Suboxone and methadone.
“If we’re just substituting one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much,” he said. “Folks need to be cured so they can be productive members of society and realize their dreams.”
Reporting on the story Mother Jones notes:
The secretary’s comments directly oppose literature from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, a division of HHS. “The goal of medication-assisted treatment is to recover from addiction,” reads “Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Facts for Families and Friends.” The literature goes on: “It does NOT replace one addictive drug with another. It provides a safe, controlled level of medication to overcome the use of a problem opioid.”
Business Insider elaborates, pointing out that the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs Price rejects are the “gold standard” for overcoming opioid addiction: