Giving Compass' Take:

• Pacific Standard writes on a new major report which finds that laws around medication for opioid addiction aren't based in science but rather based on fear. 

• How can donors drive support to more valid scientific research on the opioid crisis? How can policymakers tackle addiction care in a more successful way?

• Learn about the need for careful measures and medication when treating opioid addiction. 


American doctors have had, for a generation, a treatment that's proven to work for addictions to prescription painkillers, heroin, and similar street drugs. Overdoses on these opioid drugs killed more than 47,000 Americans in 2017. Yet the American government regulates that life-saving therapy—called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT—in a totally unscientific way, which may be part of why it's not available in the majority of doctor's offices or addiction treatment centers in the United States.

That's a conclusion of a new report, published on Wednesday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a non-profit formed in Abraham Lincoln's time to advise Congress on scientific and medical matters. "The issue is not that there should not be regulation. The issue that we are pointing out is that regulations as they exist aren't supported by evidence," says Scott Steiger, a primary care doctor who sees addiction patients in San Francisco, and one of 14 addiction researchers and treatment providers who contributed to the National Academies report.

Read the full article on access to addiction care by Francie Diep at Pacific Standard.