States Should Spend Opioid Litigation Funds to Prevent Use of All Harmful Substances

    States should spend a significant portion of opioid litigation funds on comprehensive approaches to preventing the use of all harmful substances, not just opioids, according to an article in Health Affairs.

    States should ensure that those efforts incorporate mental health promotion strategies, say the authors from Partnership to End Addiction and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A significant portion of the federal youth mental health funds should include substance use prevention initiatives, they said.

    “To meet this unprecedented moment of risk for our nation’s youth, we must capitalize on the new funding streams available to bolster their health and well-being,” the authors state. “We must not squander this opportunity by re-using piecemeal strategies that have proven incapable of addressing the national opioid and COVID crises. We need to better integrate and coordinate our efforts across domains of influence in a child’s life and launch research-based initiatives that address not only substance use and mental illness but health and resilience more broadly.”


    March 2022