The only way to solve the overdose crisis is by treating drug use as the health issue it is. But instead of enacting health-based solutions needed to save lives, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are solely focused the opposite approach – increasing law enforcement, treating drug use as a crime and making penalties even harsher.
Escalating the failed drug war is not a solution and will just make the overdose crisis even worse. Saving lives requires making sure people who are struggling with addiction have access to a variety of health services, such as the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and medication-assisted treatment, which is proven to be effective for opioid dependence.
Overdose deaths are finally getting our lawmakers’ attention. It’s time to tell Congress that we can’t arrest our way out of the overdose crisis and to adopt effective health-based solutions instead.