Another expert, Leo Beletsky, an assis­tant pro­fessor of law and health sci­ences at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law & Bouve Col­lege of Health Sci­ences in Boston, is con­cerned that gov­ern­ment efforts to curb nar­cotic painkiller abuse may go too far.

Gov­ern­ment offi­cials have cham­pi­oned a number of solu­tions drawn pri­marily from the drug enforce­ment play­book, such as pre­scrip­tion mon­i­toring pro­grams, pros­e­cu­tions of doc­tors accused of over-​​prescribing, and pill mill raids,” Beletsky said.

Focusing only on drug supply is short-​​sighted and dan­gerous, he noted. “First, it may unduly restrict legit­i­mate patient access to effec­tive pain care and, second, recent data sug­gests that cut­ting patients with sub­stance abuse prob­lems off pre­scrip­tion opioid med­ica­tions may actu­ally push them towards injecting heroin,” Beletsky said.

In other words, as we craft solu­tions to address pre­scrip­tion drug misuse, we must be extremely careful to avoid causing more harm than good,” Beletsky added.

Along with actions to restrict supply, the answer to this problem must include wider access to sub­stance abuse ser­vices, drug treat­ment, coun­seling and other invest­ments in the sci­en­tif­i­cally proven ways to address sub­stance abuse, Beletsky explained.

Read the article at U.S. News →