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Tackling the Opioid Crisis Requires a Whole-of-Government, Society-Wide Approach

The opioid crisis is a complex issue, intertwining public health with foreign policy, border security, and racial equity concerns. A comprehensive approach, engaging all levels of government and society, is crucial to prevent further overdose deaths. Recommendations include expanding access to evidence-based harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services, addressing social determinants of health, and ensuring equitable treatment access.


Domestically, enhancing scanning technologies at ports of entry to intercept illicit opioids and targeting traffickers, both domestically and internationally, are essential. Moreover, criminal legal reform should prioritize public health and safety over punitive enforcement, emphasizing diversion and support programs for affected individuals within the criminal legal system. Read the full report from American Progress here.