Thinktanks & Research

Abuse-Deterrent Opioids and the Law of Unintended Consequences

By Jeffrey A. Singer ● Cato Institute ● 02/06/2018


In the hope of reducing opioid use, abuse, and overdoses, policymakers have focused on developing and promoting tamper-resistant or abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) that render diverted opioids unusable if individuals attempt to use them for nonmedical (i.e., recreational) purposes. Although the benefits of ADFs seem to be nonexistent, these formulations have led to real harms.