A New Proposition: Advocates Calling For Tax On Prescription Painkillers

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No relaxation without taxation? Prescription opioids could go under a tax law if a group from New York is successful in passing their proposed bill.

An advocate group in New York recently proposed a bill to create a “one-cent-per-milligram excise tax on the active opioid ingredients in every pain medication sold in the state,” according to the Albany Times Union. Where will the tax money go? To the addicts in need of support and recovery. The article writes, “…the advocates also said they would seek programs to support people who have completed treatment for substance use disorders and need support to stay clean.” Such programs might include college programs and high school programs for teenagers and young adults who are in active recovery from addiction. Additionally, creating community-based support systems as well as sober living homes would be initiated. Interestingly among the debate against the use of medication assisted treatment medications like methadone and suboxone, the group argues that new sober living homes should be tolerant of people using such drugs to stay clean from the fatal opioids they were previously using. Typically, people under the influence of substitute therapy drugs are rejected from sober living homes because of the trace amount of active opioids which can be present. Though many argue that the medications are non dependency forming, there is room for abuse, which many do. However, a large population of addiction treatment professionals believe that as long as someone is progressing in their therapeutic treatment and their lives while abstaining from their drugs of choice, like heroin, the medications and their small amount of opioids shouldn’t be a problem.

Proposing such a tax is indication of the growing desperation as well as frustration surmounting in response to the widespread opioid epidemic. Mothers are tired of losing their children, family members tired of losing their loved ones, and friends tired of losing friends. As the panic for a long lasting solution continues to build it is likely more creative approaches to funding treatment will make themselves apparent.

Harmony Place is a residential treatment facility located in the quiet and serene forest of Woodland Hills, California. Offering mental health and co-occurring addiction treatment, our luxurious residential programs are the most effective way to start the recovery journey. From detox services to vocational training during transitional living, Harmony Place is prepared to help you recover for a lifetime. Recovery takes work. At Harmony Place, you’ll never have to do the work alone. For a private consultation, call  1-855-627-1417.