Report recommends ways to improve addiction treatment system

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A recent report by addiction research, treatment, and policy experts provides recommendations on how investments can improve the addiction treatment system.

The report, Evidence Based Strategies for Abatement of Harms from the Opioid Epidemic, highlights abatement strategies, economic impacts and policy considerations, substance use disorder within the criminal justice system, and strengthening prevention and harm reduction programming.

Its purpose is to assist government officials in making funding allocation decisions, educating officials on how to mitigate and reduce the harms of the opioid epidemic, and providing the financial impact of abatement.

There are currently multiple court cases against opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. Settlement awards are expected to exceed $50 billion.

“We want to avoid the outcomes of previous tobacco litigation, in which only 2.6 percent of payouts actually went to smoking prevention and cessation programming,” Sarah Twardock, Arnold Ventures public health manager, said. “We want to make sure that during this particularly difficult time for many states, the money goes to evidenced-based programs that will result in good outcomes for families and those afflicted with opioid use disorder.”

Additionally, the experts hope their report will address how to allocate funds stemming from the opioid litigation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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