In the news: Maximizing opioid settlement funds for substance use recovery

April 2, 2024 | Bridge Magazine, In The Media

A new article, Michigan needs coordination, collaboration spending opioid funds, highlights CHRT’s mixed methods research on opportunities to speed substance use recovery through opioid settlement fund investments.

In Gaps and opportunities for substance use recovery: Considerations for spending opioid settlement funds, CHRT highlights guidance from the state’s recovery support providers, including many with lived substance use recovery experience, about ways state and local leaders could invest opioid settlement funds to address gaps in the state’s substance use disorder recovery care system.

Bridge Michigan health reporter Robin Erb writes, “Reversing an overdose — yanking someone back from the brink of death — can take minutes. Recovery takes years.” Substance use addiction isn’t easy to “cure.” It’s best to look at it as a chronic condition, one that requires ongoing treatment and support.

Melissa Riba, CHRT’s research and evaluation director and lead author of the report, says people in recovery need wraparound support to be successful. Sometimes this means transportation to group meetings, or supportive housing environments, or medication.

And just because someone isn’t ready to quit right now doesn’t mean they don’t need services. In fact, the evidence says that syringe exchanges, naloxone distribution, and other harm reduction efforts are a great way to build trust and dialogue with substance users so when they’re ready to quit, they already have a network to support them.