Saturday, June 1, 2013

Drug Policy

Megan McArdle has the goods on a really depressing reverse correlation between people in prison for drug offenses and drug prices.  Insofar as harsh prison sentences were intended to keep the price of illegal drugs high, they have failed. 

Drug policy is really complicated.  Drugs that are essential for helping people cope with acute pain can become problematic with long term use.  The incredible efficacy of opioids at reducing short term pain has led to less assessment of the efficacy for long term use for chronic pain.  Ironically, these sorts of dilemmas can lead to both under use and over use of the same medications. 

I wish I had a happy and optimistic solution.  I remain interested in the experiments in Washington and Colorado in hopes that this might show some evidence of harm reduction.  But no path forward is without tough compromises. 

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