New police approaches to reverse opioid epidemic

New police approaches to reverse opioid epidemic

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Opioid use is sweeping the nation, claiming increasing deaths and in many places destroying more lives than traffic-accident deaths and murders combined. As this problem continues, police leaders in many communities are assigning themselves a role in reversing it.
 
Learning from the past, law enforcement is taking steps to treat the problem less as a crime and more as a health epidemic, as seen in this recent New York Times story that focused on the strategy in Burlington, Vermont. The local field director of that state’s human services agency is quoted in the story, “It’s all about shifting from addiction as a crime to addiction as a disease.”
 
With the increase of opioid addiction, police are reviving users from overdose and treating addicts as people worthy of help. This unlikely ally in law enforcement is flipping the script on narcotics abuse, with hopes for a long-term solve in fighting opioid use.
 
To explore behavioral health indicators in the four-county Gulf Coast region, go here.