The opioid crisis has been considered one of the worst public health dilemmas in recent memory. While it still remains an uphill battle, The New York Times in an op-ed piece listed several ways the world can hit back against it.

One step the New York Times has is “treat, don’t arrest,” adding that “nearly 300 law enforcement agencies in 31 states now participate in Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative,” which treats people suffering from addiction if they’re ready for help. “Officers work the phones to get addicts into treatment and recovery networks, in an effort that costs less and promises more lasting results than repeatedly arresting them.”

Another important step is “funding treatment,” and urging more States in the nation to expand Medicaid “which has helped save lives in the states worst affected by the opioid crisis.”

Stigma is also one of the most difficult aspects of addiction to fight in today’s day and age. “Misunderstanding of opioid addiction shrouds nearly every effort to reduce its toll,” the New York Times writes. Doing a campaign to help the American public understand addiction that is sent to everyone through the mail could go a long way in helping people understand addiction, and how people suffering from addiction can get help. 

Not only should medication-assisted treatment be a must, but another important step is to “enforce mental health parity.” The New York Times reports that half of 70 percent of people that suffer from addiction also have issues with depression, PTSD, and other mental issues. In order to combat addiction, fighting mental illness is a big key.

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