How should policy address substance use? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Decriminalizing drugs doesn’t seem to have stemmed the tide of substance use in Oregon, and now the state is backpedaling. Yet over 100,000 drug overdose deaths in 2022, recently reported by the CDC, must be addressed somehow. Substance use disorder expert Michael Fingerhood at Johns Hopkins comments.

Fingerhood: It's so hard to know what's the right answer is because treatment can work. There was models for instance in Burlington Vt police department offered to bring people to treatment rather than arrest them, I think there's some type of model like that. I know we're working here with the Baltimore City Police Department with a specific task force who is trying to offer to bring people to treatment rather than to arrest them. That's where our focus has to be and most of the people they arrest are users, they're not the people who are selling or inundating the street with the stuff.  :30

It's rare for someone who uses drugs to sell them, Fingerhood says, and that’s who really should be arrested. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.