Current Drug Abuse Epidemic Triggers New Responses, Treatment Strategies
News outlets report on local treatment experiments in Baltimore and Ithaca, New York. Opioid news also comes from Massachusetts and Florida.
Can Baltimore Provide Addiction Treatment On Demand?
Across the U.S., more than 20 million people abuse drugs or alcohol or both. Only about 1 in 10 is getting treatment. People seeking treatment often have to wait weeks or months for help. The delays can jeopardize the chances they'll be able to recover from their addiction. In Baltimore, Health Commissioner Leana Wen has been pushing for treatment on demand, so that the moment people decide they're ready for help, it's available. It's something other health officials have sought to achieve, without success. (Cornish, 2/24)
Ithaca's Plan To Open A Safe Site For Heroin Users Faces Legal Hurdles
The mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., wants to create a place where people can use heroin or other drugs injected drugs under supervision, in an effort to combat soaring deaths from overdoses. But that's a lot easier said than done. (Chen, 2/24)
Gov. Baker Appears To Be Growing Frustrated With Lack Of Movement On Opioid Bill
As the second month of the year draws to a close, Gov. Charlie Baker appears to be growing more frustrated with the Legislature’s pace in passing his comprehensive opioid bill. The legislation remains bottled up in a conference committee that’s working out the differences between the House and Senate. (Brown, 2/24)
The Tampa Bay Times:
Senate Passes Miami-Dade Needle Exchange Program
The Florida Senate on Wednesday voted to create a needle exchange program in Miami-Dade County, which supporters say will curb the spread of HIV. The proposal (SB 242) allows the University of Miami to establish a needle exchange, which would otherwise be illegal under the state's drug paraphernalia laws. No taxpayer mooney could be used for the program. (Auslen, 2/24)
Modern Healthcare reports on the scope of the drug crisis on different racial groups —
The Racial Divide In The Opioid Crisis
The city of Huntington, a community of nearly 50,000 located in western West Virginia, over the past several years has felt the harsh impact of the nation's drug abuse crisis. The state's rate of death from drug overdose rose by 65% between 2009 and 2013. Huntington lies within one of the most heavily affected counties, where more than 900 people overdosed in 2015. Seventy of them died. (Johnson, 2/24)