What is an ADF?

Substance abuse, homelessness, and Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement are intertwined in a huge and complex fashion.  We previously wrote about how Seattle formed a task force to address both heroin use and homelessness. With opioid overdoses accounting for about  30,000 U.S. deaths in one year (more than gun violence) and the epidemic in Seattle continuing to claim lives (there were recently three heroin overdoses in one day), it is an utmost public policy priority to reduce the harm caused by such use. Pharmaceutical companies are lobbying for a “profitable but unproven” partial solution: abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs). Addictive pain medications have accounted for 165,000 deaths nationwide since 2000. According to drugmakers, ADFs are harder to crush or dissolve and thus more difficult to snort or inject. Some, however, are worried this will result in a dangerous perception that there is such thing as a “safe opioid.” While making painkillers harder to abuse is a common-sense step, there is also the worry that funneling more money to the big pharmaceutical companies will allow them to wipe out lower-cost generic competitors and raise their prices for the people who really need such medications. Also, there is not yet the data to show any connection to ADFs and reduced rates of addiction, overdoses, or deaths. For FDA facts on abuse-deterrent opiod medications, click here.

 

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