Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Substance Use is a Health Issue, Not a Legal One – Op-Ed in the Seattle Times by Dr. Caleb Banta-Green


See also: December 2, 2022 KUOW interview with Dr. Banta-Green about the ongoing rise in fentanyl-related deaths and need for treatment options.

Caleb Banta-Green

ADAI Acting Professor Caleb Banta-Green, PhD authored an opinion piece published in the Seattle Times on November 30, 2022 urging the Washington State Legislature and governor to act on recommendations made by the state’s Substance Use Recovery Services Advisory (SURSA) Committee.

The SURSA Committee, created by a 2021 state law, ESB-5476, was tasked with developing measures to help people access outreach, treatment and recovery support services.

A priority recommendation from SURSA is the creation of health hubs for people who use drugs referred by the newly created recovery navigator or other established programs. These hubs are a natural extension of the low-barrier care that the ADAI Center for Community-Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology & Research has helped implement and evaluate here in Washington. 

Other recommendations from the SURSA Committee could also help transform care, public health and lives across the state.

“Now we just need the Legislature and the governor to act so we can get to work saving lives, supporting recovery and making communities healthier by adopting the SURSA recommendations,” wrote Dr. Banta-Green.