Why a Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Crisis?
A public health guide to ending the opioid crisis is needed to help frame efforts to go “upstream” and address the root causes of substance use disorder and addiction. In this introduction, the editors provide an overview of the book’s three parts (Fundamentals and Frameworks; Connecting Clinical Perspectives and Public Health Practice; Moving Upstream—Prevention, Partnership, and Public Health). While a great deal of prior work has focused on the clinical aspects of the opioid epidemic, more is needed to address the community-level aspects, including addressing the root causes of addiction, and where public health professionals can intervene at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention. The case is made for increasing effort in the areas of primary prevention and policy change to support effective opioid stewardship at the local, state, and federal levels. The editors conclude by stating that communities will not “arrest” or “treat” their way out of this crisis. Instead, we have to redouble efforts to prevent addiction and address the clinical and community aspects of what drives an individual to become addicted in the first place.
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