To beat the opioid crisis, Virginia’s Ralph Northam should think like Portugal

Source: Reason
by A Barton Hinkle

“President Trump has declared the opioid scourge a national emergency, but his solution is tissue-thin: a few minor tweaks to federal policy, such as relaxing Medicaid rules regarding treatment facilities, and a promise of ‘really great advertising’ …. Any questions?’ Which will accomplish nothing. … Republican Ed Gillespie, who lost last night to Democrat Ralph Northam, produced a substantive and thoughtful — albeit insufficient — plan to address the drug crisis. It began with the recognition that addiction ‘is a disease — not a moral failing’ and that ‘We cannot arrest our way out of the current epidemic of addiction.’ … The war on illegal drugs can’t cure addiction any more than Prohibition cured alcoholism. And this gives Virginia’s next governor an opportunity to break with the useless past. He should declare Virginia’s part of the war on drugs over, and announce a different policy to replace it: Virginia is the new Portugal.” (11/08/17)