Every year, at least 16,000 Americans die from overdosing on prescription pain drugs, more than from heroin and cocaine combined. Preventing these deaths should be a national priority, and two measures that could help to reduce these tragedies are an excellent way to start.
My morning with Ritchie, part of a required residency rotation on addiction, offered a rare glimpse into patients' lives outside hospital walls and the important, if unsettling, work that complements our efforts as physicians.
Today we continue our Year-End Retrospective with a look at the biggest news stories of scientific research into cannabis, public opinion polls on legalization, and statistical research on cannabis consumers.
"Addiction" is always about the underlying pain. The solution? Legalize and regulate all drugs. Integrate drug policy into public health. Treat addicts as humans, their physical and psychological issues as medical conditions.