Longreads

Last year, I spoke to a former cop and a public health policy expert, both of whom told me that the major failing of the “war on drugs” was prioritizing incarceration over treatment and prevention. Part of the problem today, the former cop told me, was that in many places where opioids are currently leading to deaths, the only resource available is law enforcement. He pointed to the Midwest town of East Liverpool, Ohio, where a photo of two adults overdosing in a car with a baby in the backseat had gone viral. The East Liverpool police chief had told NPR, “We don’t have any resources, and we don’t have a place. Even if somebody comes down here to the station, knocks on the door and asks for help, where do we send them? We have nothing here in our county.”

“Opioid crisis” has become a catchphrase in the United States…

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