KFF Health News  |  July 19, 2023

“We operate the whole addiction system in a crisis mode, as opposed to looking at it over the long term,” said Regina LaBelle, director of the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at Georgetown University. Law enforcement officials with no health care training exercise almost total authority over the lives of inmates with addiction, and they are more likely to view substance abuse as a crime to be punished than a health crisis to be treated, say academic researchers, reform advocates, and formerly incarcerated people.

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