Opinion

Without resources, anti-drug law is only half-step

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Lawmakers in Washington are exclaiming they took major action this week to combat the opioid drug abuse problem plaguing the nation, but they haven’t earned a hearty slap on the back just yet. They may have taken a step toward a meaningful response to the epidemic that in 2014 killed 47,000 people across the country, but it fell well short of a full one.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly added its stamp of approval to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, marking the final legislative action needed to send the compromise legislation to President Obama for his signature. The White House said the president would sign it.

The legislation creates grants and other programs aimed at addressing drug abuse, especially heroin and opioids contained in powerful pain-killing prescription drugs. Among the bill’s components are more resources for addiction treatment, prevention and education, alternative sentencing options such as drug courts, expanded availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, and development of new guidelines for prescribing opiates.

Any response at all is of keen interest to West Virginia…

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