Action On Opioids

The opioid overdose crisis across Long Island, and across America, is a public health emergency. Let's treat it that way!

This means taking the wealth of scientific findings and proven practices learned over decades and IMPLEMENTING them on a scale that meets the problem. It means waging a life-saving public health campaign as massive, relentless and well-funded as the drug industry lobbying and mass marketing campaign that fueled this crisis. It means urgency and leadership from institutions in every sector -- healthcare, insurance, governmental, criminal justice, religious and others -- to tackle specific assignments:

  • Reaching the 20,000+ persons on Long Island with opioid use disorder (OUD), and the 2-3 million across the nation, and providing access to treatment, overdose-reversing naloxone, and other harm-reduction resources to minimize overdose risks.
  • Creating a system of accessible, evidence-based medical care for those with OUD, using FDA-approved medicines proven to reduce cravings and enable recovery. Removing the many barriers to OUD care that meets the medical standard.
  • Discarding practices proven NOT to work, including overreliance on abstinence counseling, incarceration of drug users, and pressuring patients being treated with anti-craving medications to taper off those drugs.
  • Eliminating the stigma surrounding substance use disorders and the related stigma surrounding the use of medications in OUD treatment.
  • Equipping every institution that interacts with drug users, including families, with tools and know-how to help users reduce overdose risks and find paths to recovery.
  • Strengthening systems of recovery supports: housing, jobs, education, family and social supports.

Who will tackle this challenge? No one -- unless there is sustained pressure from organized citizens. Join us!

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