As the state grapples with its part in the opioid dependency epidemic, one doctor believes the classification of the problem as a psychological issue is at the heart of the crisis. Dr. Andre Waisman says we need to look at the medical impact of opiate addiction and treat that as the root cause in order to break the cycle of addiction that leaves many people feeling hopeless.

“Once patients realize that they have an illness that can be fully reversed, I believe that people who are waiting for treatment would take better care of themselves and are going to have much fewer overdose cases.”

Waisman hopes the mainstream medical community will follow his lead and focus research on understanding how opioids impact brain chemistry. Waisman says his own research points to the same biological event happening in the brain chemistry of street users, pain medication addicts and even newborn infants of addict mothers.