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Substance Use/Addiction

The state’s experiment with decriminalizing hard drugs has connected few people with treatment options. But officials urge patience for results as COVID-19 may have impacted participation so far.
State and local governments should devote a substantial share of the billions in opioid settlement funds to get victims of the epidemic housed in settings where they can get the help they need to recover.
We’ve tried taxing drinkers, smokers and soda-guzzlers. Sometimes it helps, improving the public’s health, even if it doesn’t produce a lot of revenue. But it still raises equity and moral issues.
A $26 billion pharmaceutical settlement would resolve lawsuits by the state attorney general, counties and city governments across the state. But some officials don’t agree with the terms of the settlement and aren’t signing on.
Billions of dollars will be flowing to states and localities from opioid lawsuit settlements and court rulings. They need to set up a framework for dedicating the money to programs that save lives.
There are too many barriers to making medications that have been proved to help manage the disease available in residential treatment facilities. States should move to require the medications people need.