January 01, 2018

Physician Health Programs: A Model for Treating Substance Use Disorders

By Robert L. DuPont and Lisa J. Merlo

Substance use disorders (SUDs) impact individuals and families from every socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic background, and level of education in every community across the United States. At a time when our nation faces a public health crisis—with overdose now the leading cause of death for Americans under age 501—there is an urgent push to identify and fund the most effective ways to treat and manage the disease of addiction. Opioid addiction, in particular, is ravaging communities. The effects of untreated opioid use disorders will have negative impacts for generations due to increased medical morbidities, premature deaths, diminished workforce, impaired parenting, economic strain, and increased burden on public servants and first responders.

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