The François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, in collaboration with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Open Society Foundations, recently urged the Biden-Harris transition team to address the opioid crisis equitably.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, when overall overdose-related deaths were beginning to decline, the number of overdose deaths among people of color continued to rise across the country,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett, FXB Center director, said. “Under the new administration, we are confident our recommendations will go far in closing these inequitable gaps. As President-Elect Biden understands first-hand the experience of loving someone who lives with drug addiction, we know that his commitment to a just response is real and that countless others affected by the ongoing crisis can feel hopeful toward achieving necessary reforms for real change.”
FBX recommends amending harsh criminal justice practices disproportionately imposed on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.
The report also recommends expanding Medicaid, addressing drug use and reforming the criminal legal system, establishing a bulk purchasing fund to obtain naloxone and Medications for Addiction Treatment MAT at lower prices, and establish a national campaign to address stigma and misconceptions. The campaign also would form a nonprofit foundation to serve as a nongovernmental watchdog.