November 16, 2023 by
Lucy Gardner Carson
Kelly Peck, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and director of clinical operations at UVM’s Center on Rural Addiction
(NOVEMBER 16, 2023) Kelly Peck, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and director of clinical operations at UVM’s Center on Rural Addiction, commented for a story in the South Carolina Daily Gazette about how synthetic drugs are rendering treatment options less effective.
Substance users who seek help breaking their addictions face treatment options rendered less effective by the prevalence of fentanyl, xylazine, and other synthetic drugs, and Vermont’s pioneering efforts in establishing a statewide program for medication for opioid use disorder, known as Hub and Spoke, now face significant new challenges.
Launched in 2012, Hub and Spoke put prescription medicines at the center of the treatment strategy, which many addiction specialists say is the most effective approach. Vermont offers methadone treatment at regional hub sites for those with the most intense needs, while smaller community clinics and doctors’ offices—the “spokes”—provide care, such as dispensing the opioid withdrawal drug buprenorphine. But the rise of fentanyl, xylazine, and stimulants is undercutting the effectiveness of addiction medications.
“Methadone is probably the most regulated medication in the United States. We’ve got to figure out a way to make it more accessible,” Peck said. “We’ve got decades worth of data at this point, showing that methadone is safe and efficacious.”
For Peck and colleagues, more resources can’t come quickly enough.
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(This story was also featured in the Maine Morning Star, Route Fifty, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and Colorado Newsline, among other media outlets.)
at The South Carolina Daily Gazette