The following excerpt is from an op-ed that first appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer on June 14, 2023.

Leading up to the primary, it was clear crime was on residents’ minds. Indeed, the Democratic winner — Cherelle Parker — ran on a bold plan to fight crime.

But crime is not the only important topic to Philadelphians right now.

In a recent poll of Philly residents, more than half said they believe the opioid overdose crisis should be a top priority for the next mayor. They overwhelmingly endorsed policies that increased access to mental health and substance use treatment, and they rejected policies that focus on arresting and incarcerating people who use drugs.

As clinicians and researchers working in addiction care, we are heartened by the overwhelming support for action. While it will take many “solutions” to address this crisis, there is good reason for hope.

There is good reason for hope.

This widespread support for treatment comes at a critical moment, as overdoses and other complications from substance use are higher than ever, and the nature of the problem is changing. We’re seeing increases in overdose deaths involving both stimulants and opioids, with disproportionate spikes among adolescents, young adults, and Black Philadelphians.

Read the entire op-ed here.

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