US experts: Medicines for opioid addiction vastly underused
By MATTHEW PERRONE
AP Health Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's top medical advisers say medicines proven to treat opioid addiction remain vastly underused in the U.S.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report Wednesday that found only a fraction of the estimated 2 million Americans addicted to opioids are receiving medications.
The influential group's conclusions echo similar reports from the U.S. Surgeon General and a presidential commission appointed by President Donald Trump.
Among the biggest barriers: stigma, rules that limit their availability and a lack of training in prescribing the drugs among health professionals.
The latest government figures show deaths linked to opioids rose to nearly 48,000 in 2017, a record.
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