The impacts of addiction | Letter

It is clear that there is a growing number of people who struggle with substance abuse in the United States. We have felt the very real impacts of addiction here, in our community among our friends, our families, and our loved ones. So what is the solution?

Well, for starters there is no one solution. Addiction itself is a multifaceted creature. Some make the claim that there is insignificant funding available, however, it is arguable that it is more a misallocation of funding that is the problem. Data shows that the majority of both National and State funding currently goes toward enforcing interdiction and shouldering the consequences of “human wreckage” caused by the use of substances. Meanwhile, a mere fraction of that spending goes toward treatment, prevention, and research. The biggest obstacle facing current users is the unavailability of humane and effective treatment.

So, it is time to rearrange the budget; we need Congress to allow for increased spending in the areas that matter most. This could look like State and Federal officials partnering with public and private healthcare providers to invent addiction-based plans, with minimized deductibles and targeted treatments. We have the ability to really, substantially help those struggling in a sustainable way but not if we don’t put on our brainstorming caps and write to our local and federal representatives asking for increased spending on treatment, prevention and research. I implore you to do so. Every effort made makes a difference.

Myla Ross

Orcas Island