Opinion: Emergency response systems must not overlook people with substance use disorders

Addiction treatment systems provide care for people with substance use disorders while surveilling, criminalizing, and stigmatizing these disorders and the people who have them.

When the storm unofficially known as Winter Storm Uri barreled across much of North America last year, unprecedented cold and record-breaking snowfall overwhelmed emergency response systems as well as regional and municipal infrastructure, leaving households and critical public safety services without electricity, heat, or potable water.

Health care delivery was substantially disrupted, with devastating consequences for vulnerable groups such as young children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases reliant on medications, medical devices, or life-sustaining procedures.

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