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Health Secretary Tom Price Recommends God as the Solution to the Opioid Crisis

Just pray the addiction away.

Susan  Rinkunas

Susan Rinkunas

Bloomberg/Getty Images

This is How Bout No, where we channel our rage about infuriating developments in health and healthcare. Saying "no" feels so good.

On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price visited West Virginia with rehydrated corpse Kellyanne Conway to talk with local leaders about the opioid epidemic that's ravaging the state. You may remember hearing about this trip in the news because a reporter was arrested for asking Price a question about pre-existing conditions under the American Health Care Act.

Violations of constitutional rights aside, something else newsworthy happened during this trip, according to the Charlotte Gazette-Mail:

Asked about drug treatment options, Price touted faith-based programs while showing less support for medication-assisted programs in which addicts are weaned off heroin with other opioids like Suboxone and methadone.

"If we're just substituting one opioid for another, we're not moving the dial much," he said. "Folks need to be cured so they can be productive members of society and realize their dreams."

That's correct: Price, who went to medical school, is more hyped on faith-based programs than on the medication-assisted treatments recommended by the HHS division known as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. He would rather people pray the addiction away.

Mother Jones points out that a SAMHSA pamphlet directly contradicts Price's statement, saying:

Taking medication for opioid addiction is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. It is NOT the same as substituting one addictive drug for another. Used properly, the medication does NOT create a new addiction. It helps people manage their addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.

Dear Tom Price: No.

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