In his New York Times column “Heroin Doesn’t Have to Be a Killer” columnist Nicolas Kristof has again looked closely at an issue that is often overlooked, even by top journalists and medical writers. The June 6, 2015, column says in part:

“It’s a subject we find hard to talk about, even though it kills more people in America than guns or cars and claims more lives than murder or suicide.

I’m talking about drug overdoses, taking close to 44,000 lives a year. These often follow a pipeline from prescription painkillers to heroin — a result, in part, of reckless marketing by pharmaceutical companies and overprescribing by doctors. These days, heroin is out of control, with deaths nearly tripling in three years.”

Kristof goes on to describe the effective of methadone and suboxone, and makes the point that for all of these great treatments to be effective, it is also necessary for all of us to work to reduce the stigma that goes along with addiction.