Following on our discussion from Chapter 7 of Evicted, a PHS student writes:
Last week was Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, and the Obama administration emphasized the necessity for congress to fully fund a $1.1 billion effort battling the opioid and heroin addiction crisis. Among interventions geared towards expanding access to treatment, facilitating research, monitoring prescription distribution, improving mental health and substance use disorder treatment, advancing physician engagement, disposing of opioids safely and assisting rural and tribal communities was also facilitating housing support for the recovering population. I find this last portion that targets the housing environment extremely important as it likely draws many parallels to the “Evicted” chapter we all read. I also find this article interesting given it is an example of how large policy initiatives originate. The number of different organizations that fall under the web of the federal government and are prominent players is astonishing, as noted by the myriad councils, departments, administrations and services mentioned in the article. I will be very interested to see what congress decides!
More recent news reiterating the importance of this topic and more focused initiatives can be found on all major news venues. The link provided details an overview of the plan as of July 2016.
Note in particular the plan to address homelessness as an integral component of opioid and heroin use disorders. This echoes calls to establish “housing first” as a way to stabilize individuals so they can address their health needs (see for example, United Way of Dane County’s program here: https://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/housing-first/).