In light of the FDA’s move to consider new restrictions on opioids such as hydrocodone, this interview with Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer of Phoenix House Foundation, is particularly insightful. It gets past the tug-of-war between efforts to avoid deaths by overdose (which have been climbing) and ensuring those suffering from debilitating, chronic pain still have access to painkillers. If doctors write fewer prescriptions for opioids, what other legitimate options are there for treating pain? Plenty, says Kolodny.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Phoenix House Foundation in New York. He’s also a go-to source for journalists looking for perspective on the nation’s prescription drug abuse problem. He first contacted me a year ago when I interviewed writer Maia Szalavitz about her thoughts on painkiller addiction.

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