'There is No Time to Wait’: Supervisors OK $100M Plan to Tackle Opioid Crisis
San Diego County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a framework in anticipation of an expected $100 million in settlement money from pharmaceutical companies to address the region’s opioid crisis.
As proposed by Supervisors Joel Anderson and Nathan Fletcher, the strategies include expanding access to medically assisted treatment, putting wellness advocates in hospitals, providing wrap-around services and housing, drug disposal including bags, and public information campaigns.
Some programs will be implemented as soon as the money is available, while others will require additional structures to be put in place before they can be successfully implemented, according to the county.
Fletcher, the board chairman, described the framework as comprehensive and sufficiently flexible.
Although prescribed narcotic pills like oxycodone are the catalyst for the new county policy, abuse of the synthetic opioid fentanyl has worsened the crisis and accelerated the damage, Fletcher said.
In a joint statement after the vote, Fletcher said the county “is now ready to take action quickly to combat this crisis by investing millions of dollars in best-practices to help San Diegans overcome addiction and save lives.”
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