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Tighter prescribing rules may cause prescription opioid users to switch to heroin

from The Washington Post

President Barack Obama has committed to sign the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which includes among its provisions new policies to reduce inappropriate prescribing of prescription opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Given the ongoing epidemic of addiction and death caused by opioid painkillers, this seems like sensible public-health policy, but some critics charge that tighter prescribing rules simply cause prescription opioid users to switch to heroin, thereby feeding a second opioid epidemic. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine recently published the first systematic analysis of this terrifying possibility. more

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