Is something better than nothing when it comes to treating opioid addiction?
Not if those somethings add up to nothing, which is what some new laws taking effect Jan. 1 amount to in the war against opioid abuse.
The Daily Sentinel notes that several new laws will take effect this year, including taxpayer funded overdose drugs.
That’s right, Medicaid now must reimburse addicts who can’t afford health insurance with at least one shot of Narcan. One “get-out-death-free” ticket as it were, which would be laughable if the growing heroin problem wasn’t so damn sad, ruining families and destroying lives.
So the first overdose is on the house. With the second, well, you die.
Not much of a solution, and neither is the requirement that health plans provide “coverage” for a five-day supply of a federally approved drug for opioid dependence.
Sure, it sounds like a good idea, except methadone is one of those drugs, and so is lofexidine.
Methadone doesn’t work in five days, and lofexidine requires at least 14 days.
It reminds us of all the millions that went into the tobacco lawsuit settlement that was supposed to provide cessation supplies smokers. But the gums, medication and patches were and are still so expensive, few can afford it.
Of course the worst idea Colorado is pursuing for opioid addiction is the outrageous plan already passed by the Denver City Council to open legal injections sites for opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine.
The Democratic-controlled legislature is also expected to take up a similar measure this year to allow injection sites statewide.
Something might be better than nothing when it comes to stopping opioid addiction, but enabling an addiction that leads to death is just not the answer.