Where [are we] on the Opioid epidemic?
“Every day spent doggedly pursuing punitive, ideologically driven drug control strategies that have never worked, and have no realistic expectation of success in the future, means another 91 dead [from overdose]. We have a public health crisis on our hands. And we have solutions, if only we are allowed to pursue them, rather than go down blind and fruitless alleys that abound with rhetoric and resound with empty promises while families and communities continue to suffer the grave tragedy of this epidemic.”
There is abundant evidence for what works: prevention (especially in youth); physician drug monitoring program; early detection of problem drug use; treatment the universal dissemination of life-saving Narcan, which reverses overdose-related respiratory arrest; and de-stigmatizing substance use disorders rather than making criminal pariahs of people with these conditions.