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More than money: Fixing problems with drug treatment

July 10. 2018 8:14PM

A state audit of agencies providing substance abuse treatment shows that it will take more than money to serve those battling opioid addiction.

Even as the state found several problems with operations at Harbor Homes and the Greater Nashua Council of Alcoholism’s Keystone Hall recovery center, the two groups will be back before the Executive Council on Wednesday seeking more money.

The opioid epidemic has been devastating, and local, state, and federal taxpayers have been pouring money into treatment centers for the past several years. Politicians have been less eager to ensure that this money is being spent properly and efficiently.

The people providing services to those struggling with addiction are not necessarily adept at complying with state and federal regulations. We also have a hard time discerning what works.

That doesn’t mean we should stop trying, or that the council should reject the contracts up for consideration on this week’s agenda. It does suggest that state officials should be helping agencies that receive substance abuse treatment contracts comply with those contracts.

The opioid crisis is too important to treat with good intentions. We must ensure that scarce resources dedicated to fighting it are being used as effectively as possible.

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