Crystal Foretia
Jul 31, 2017

Possible Solution to the Opioid Epidemic

2 comments

 

 

Buffalo, New York has begun the opiate court, a new experiment to counter America's unhealthy relationship with opioids, a class of strong, prescribed painkillers. The opiate court, funded by a $300,000 grant from the Justice Department, puts arrested opium addicts on a treatment program in which they report daily to court instead trying them for drug possession. What do you think about the program? Should other cities use this model to counter the epidemic?

 

Sources:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2017-06-01/first-ever-opiate-court-designed-to-help-addicted-suspects

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/first-opioid-court-u-s-focuses-keeping-users-alive-n781121

 

Rachna Shah
Jul 31, 2017

It's definitely an interesting idea, and I'm waiting to see what the results of this court will be. Encouraging treatment and rehabilitation rather than penalizing addiction can be a positive force to counter the epidemic.

 

It's also interesting that Buffalo, NY was chosen. Buffalo's economy has rapidly rebounded since about a decade back and their population is racially diverse. Nonetheless, about 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.

 

What are your thoughts on this possible solution?

Crystal Foretia
Jul 31, 2017

The initial outcomes have been promising; none of the 80 patients doing this program have overdosed in the first 2 months of the program. I personally believe that all drugs should be treated like alcohol is today. We know prohibition does not work, so we need to start treating these addicts as patients, not criminals. I wish other cities will follow Buffalo's example.

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