In this New York Times piece, Jeneen Interlandi discusses the challenges and progress in addiction treatment, with a focus on opioid addiction. Deborah Manasseh, a Nurse Care Coordinator at Community Healthcare Network, illustrates the complexity of starting patients on buprenorphine, a highly effective opioid addiction treatment. The process requires careful monitoring, empathy, and precise dosing due to the risk of precipitated withdrawal. However, the shortage of specialized nurses like Ms. Manasseh limits the number of patients who can receive timely care.
The article underscores the uneven allocation of funding in addiction treatment, where state and federal grants have been the primary sources of support. This has resulted in financial instability for service providers and has discouraged healthcare professionals from pursuing careers in the field.