From the New York Times:
The American opioid epidemic has defied all efforts to contain it, and the number of overdose deaths continues to grow. President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency in October and said “we have to do something about it” in his State of the Unionaddress, but his administration has yet to pursue a specific strategy.
We asked 30 experts to think big, but realistically, about solutions. Imagine you had $100 billion to spend over five years — a little less than current federal domestic H.I.V./AIDS spending — to address the opioid crisis. Where would you put that money?
School of Social Work Associate Professor Jay Unick, PhD suggested expanding Medicaid (or access to health care) as the most important intervention for improving outcomes related to the opiate epidemic. All the other interventions discussed in the article only work if individuals have access to quality health care . He also suggested decreasing educational programs. Unick states "People like these programs but there is little evidence suggesting that they work."