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Opioid Bill Reframes Addiction As A Health Problem, Not A Crime

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The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

The bill is an amalgam of more than a dozen proposals passed through the year in the House and Senate. And while it has lots of new policies and provisions — from creating a task force to study how best to treat pain, to encouraging states to create prescription drug monitoring programs — it doesn’t have much money to put them in place.

President Obama had requested $1.1 billion to help pay for more addiction treatment programs and other initiatives. But the version agreed to by House and Senate Republicans last week didn’t include all that money. In the end, it will probably get about half that much.

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