Health Secretary Tom Price Favors ‘Faith Based’ Approach To Opioid Crisis

Health Secretary Tom Price Favors ‘Faith Based’ Approach To Opioid Crisis

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:

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14 thoughts on “Health Secretary Tom Price Favors ‘Faith Based’ Approach To Opioid Crisis

  1. It may help to reconstruct the order of your reply mechanisms too. See my response which landed on the previous article. Some of the responses in historic posts have no flow, words squeezed into impossible spaces and responses to posts that you have obviously deleted. This, by turn, reads as a stream of nonsense. I am trying to helpful here, feedback can be useful. Thanks.

  2. Well not only is the Trump political machine making it easier for a faith based treatment for the opioid crisis, but Trump is making it easier for churches and non-profits to support political candidates. While AA has a Tradition 12 written in 1946 claiming “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy” it doesn’t mean that the non-profits and churches that hold AA meetings won’t get AA two hatters to start the political ball rolling (just like the AA two hatters working at rehabs and detoxes pushing faith healing.).

    “As Republicans struggle to craft a sweeping tax package — a process already rife with political land mines — they are preparing to add another volatile element to the mix: a provision that would end a six-decade-old ban on churches and other tax-exempt organizations supporting political candidates.

    The repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” is being written into tax legislation developed in the House of Representatives, according to aides. President Trump has vowed to “totally destroy” the provision at the behest of evangelical Christians who helped elect him.”


  3. Tom Price is a complete moron. The evidence for MAT is strong. It saves lives, lowers crime, brings families back together, allows for education and gainful employment. To tout ‘faith-based’ solutions is an act of insanity and irresponsibility.

    • I agree Sally- It will be interesting to see how this part of this Administration unfolds. We need to fight for better treatment for those suffering with substance use issues.

  4. Unless Congress has made some new laws these are the regulations that HHS and SAMHSA should be following:

    Comment: Other commenters were concerned because the potential for violating the requirement to separate religious and non-religious components of a program is heightened in the area of substance abuse services, which is sometimes viewed as a spiritual problem.

    Response: The restrictions on inherently religious activities by organizations that receive funding directly from SAMHSA [1] remain the same as those described in the proposed rule. The Department agrees that these activities include worship, religious instruction, and proselytization. (Other basic examples include prayer meetings and devotional studies of sacred texts.) The right to maintain a group’s religious character does not include the right to use government funds to pay for inherently religious activities or materials.

    Comment: Questions were also raised about whether 12-step programs or, specifically, AA programs, are religious programs.

    Response: With regard to the 12-step and AA meetings, we note that any inherently religious activities must be voluntary and must be offered separately in time or location from the program that receives direct SAMHSA funding.

    Comment: A commenter stated that the exclusion of all “inherently religious” activities from government funding is flawed, and puts many faith-based organizations in the position of having to choose either to deny their core religious perspectives on social issues or to reject government funds for their programs that accomplish the government’s objectives.

    From the document:

    • Hi William – Thanks for posting this . It seems that AA aka 12 step is so entrenched in all this that no one sees the forest from the trees. Its already deemed highly religious . In over 50 % of our states. But who cares, who listens and who fights back. Almost 98 % of these rehabs are AA based . Run and operated by two hatter AA members as well. Its a Big fight. We will overcome this — the traveling ministries of the late 1920 ’30 s were similar to AA . Sharing doesn’t help Sub use people.

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