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Substance Use/Addiction

Thirty-three states have laws that allow schools or school employees to carry, store or administer naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication. But some states and school districts struggle with the stigma that comes with it.
Nationally, heat was the underlying or contributing cause of about 1,670 deaths last year, making it the highest heat-related death rate in at least two decades. Substance use, the housing crisis and an aging population contribute to the problem.
Whatever communities can do to nurture “social infrastructure” — places like movie theaters, libraries and swimming pools where people gather to form social bonds — can have a profound impact on addiction and overdose death rates.
The Livingston Parish School Board has filed a lawsuit against TikTok and Instagram, claiming the platforms are so addictive they have created a mental health crisis among the district’s students.
State legislators have passed more than 700 new laws and a variety of notable or controversial laws will take effect this week, including policies surrounding transgender athletes, chaplains in schools and a tampon tax.
The Mendocino County board of supervisors decided to use more than $63,000 of opioid settlement funds, approximately 6.5 percent of the total the county received in the first two years of distribution, to fill a $6 million budget shortfall.
The bills will make it easier to distribute the opioid reversal drug Narcan, create a curriculum on the dangers of certain drugs, fund a coordinated crisis services system, establish a task force to study alcohol pricing and addiction services, and more.
Stories and statistics point to mixed success since the new 3-digit number launched last July.
Everything from fatal overdoses to the number of people suffering from severe depression has been growing at alarming rates. Counties have been providing services but insist that Washington must do more.
The death rate in the state’s prisons increased 34.6 percent from 2018 to 2022, which saw 135 deaths. This year is surpassing 2022’s rate even as the pandemic has waned and physical mail was stopped last year.
Court officials are slowly moving away from the belief that abstinence is the only path to addiction recovery. However, a study found that while more than 90 percent of drug courts allowed medication treatments, 1 in 4 still overruled medication decisions.
Mayor Matt Mahan recently held a press conference to further stress the city’s “zero tolerance policy” for public drug crimes and reinforced the need for arrests and treatments. But it remains unclear if the crackdown will make a meaningful impact.
States have information that counties need to better target their resources and services to reduce overdose risk and save lives. Improving data sharing is a good use of opioid settlement funds.
Approximately 20 percent of American workers have admitted to using recreational drugs while working remotely, and there has been an increase in working age Americans with substance use disorders since pre-pandemic.
In 1980, the THC content of marijuana was less than 1.5 percent, while some of today’s varieties can be found with more than 30 percent. In 2021, 16.3 million people had experienced a marijuana use disorder.
A new report from RAND Corporation argues that progress against opioid drug abuse and addiction is best understood — and addressed — in the context of everything that comes with it through an ecosystem view.