June 20, 2018 |
Harvard Health | Public Health Infrastructure to Combat the Opioid Crisis
Dr. John F. Kelly, Recovery Research Institute Director, June 19, 2018
HARVARD HEALTH POLICY REVIEW
Recently, there has been national policy debate about the need for increased spending on transportation infrastructure to the tune of 1.5 trillion dollars. This is deemed necessary in order to maintain and enhance public safety. Yet, despite staring squarely in the face of a current preventable public safety and public health crisis that is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans right now each year – substance use disorder – the proposed financial federal appropriations to address it amount only to a few billion. Opioid overdose deaths, by themselves, now total more than all those Americans killed in motor vehicle accidents. To address the current crisis and the more enduring public health problems related to alcohol and other drugs, it is necessary to invest in more than asphalt; we need to invest in American lives.