September 11, 2023
Opioid/Substance Use Disorders | Tea Leaves
  • As states and counties spend the first wave of opioid settlement dollars from the pharmaceutical industry, public health groups are challenging how some funds are being used. In some states, law enforcement departments receive opioid settlement money for policing resources like new cruisers, overtime pay for narcotics investigators, phone-hacking equipment, body scanners to detect drugs on inmates, and restraint devices. On Monday, 133 addiction medicine specialists, legal aid groups, street outreach groups, and other organizations released a list of suggested priorities for the funds. Their recommendations include housing for people in recovery and expanding access to syringe exchange programs, personal use testing strips for fentanyl and xylazine, and medication that treats addiction. They expressly stated that no funds “should be spent on law enforcement personnel, overtime or equipment.” (Article here)