Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War

SentencingProjectSquareThis report from The Sentencing Project discusses the need for a public health response—including Medicaid expansion and improved access to medication-assisted treatment—to address the current drug crisis, and discusses how the War on Drugs has not lowered past cycles of drug use.

The report offers recommendations for policymakers, stressing the use of evidence-based practices as well as ways to work toward ending the overprescribing of opioids; expanding access to treatment for drug use disorders; and reducing overdose-related deaths through greater access to naloxone and implementation of supervised injection sites and syringe service programs. The report also discusses evidence showing that incarceration for drug use and sales is not an effective remedy for substance use disorder.