Amid an opioid epidemic raging in the United States, several suggestions have been floated to mitigate the crisis, including the stark suggestion of an Ohio city council member: “Let addicts die.”

While councilman Dan Picard’s idea has been decried as a cry of frustration rather than a legitimate solution; several viable alternatives have also been proposed and implemented to scale down the epidemic.

Buffalo, New York, recently opened its first opioid crisis intervention court, with the primary objective of keeping the opioid users alive. Under the program being followed by the intervention court since May 1, users avail treatment within hours of arrest, instead of days. They appear before the judge everyday for a month, instead of a week, and abide by strict curfews. Albeit this model can be replicated in other afflicted states too, the scale of the opioid crisis has called for urgent and innovative proposals that target the root of the epidemic rather than providing just remedial measures.

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