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Kaul: Increasing treatment access, prevention could curb opioid epidemic

March 20, 2019 5:38 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

March 20, Wisconsin Health News

Attorney General Josh Kaul called Tuesday for increasing access to treatment, taking action to prevent people from becoming addicted to opioids and holding drug traffickers and others accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic.

Speaking at an opioid forum in Green Bay, Kaul said the state should ensure more Wisconsinites have access to treatment and expand local programs that are working well.

He also called for taking federal money to expand Medicaid to get more people access to healthcare.

Wisconsin has done well on raising awareness, but it needs to take more action to prevent people from being addicted, Kaul said. That includes continuing work on reducing overprescription of opioids and its drug take back days.

He also suggested looking at the legalization of marijuana in other states and seeing whether it was effective as an alternative to opioids.

“My view is that I would have a doctor prescribing that patient medical marijuana than an opioid in almost every case,” he said.

Kaul also said large-scale drug traffickers need to be held accountable as well as those who created the epidemic.

Those who “reaped massive profits off the creation of the epidemic owe money back,” he said.

“It’s critical that we learn what caused this epidemic so that we don’t repeat the mistakes that were made as this epidemic was created,” he said

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