The opioid crisis has gripped the nation, impacting individuals, families, and communities across the country; Philadelphia has been hit especially hard, with over 1,200 people dying from drug overdoses in the City in 2017. These numbers are heartbreaking, but Philadelphia can become a national example of how to react in a crisis, find long term solutions for those who are impacted by substance use disorders, and develop holistic programs to ensure the physical, emotional, and social health of communities in the midst of crisis.
Philadelphians, regardless of socioeconomic status or health insurance, deserve access to quality, effective recovery care. City leaders should develop clear standards of care for all City recovery centers and health care providers. to decrease discrepancies in care for patients with different means. Included in these standards, the City should commit to making Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) widely available to those in recovery for opioid addiction.
Finally, the City should commit more resources to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS). The department, the City’s primary method of outreach for issues related to opioids and substance abuse, is a vital service for many Philadelphians in times of crisis, and the City should be actively supporting DBHIDS in its efforts to assist Philadelphians.
The opioid crisis impacts Philadelphia’s residents, families, and communities everyday. 1,200 people died from overdoses in the City in 2017. The statistics are harrowing, but there are proven ways to help those struggling and to establish Philadelphia as a pioneer in recovery policies that work.
Philadelphia is in a position to compete economically with cities across the country, but the City requires diligent leadership and a devotion to growing businesses in and attracting businesses to the City.
Those who live and work in Philadelphia deserve to have access to quality, well-paying jobs. To that end, City government leaders need to focus on two clear goals: supporting homegrown businesses and attracting existing businesses to the City. City Council, in charge of a $12 Billion budget, must appropriately allocate resources to City Services that support growing businesses in the City and promote workplace wellbeing for the people of Philadelphia. City Council should prioritize the expansion of programs such as Philly311 and the Commerce Department’s Business Services Team to generate a knowledgebase and networking resources for businesspersons and entrepreneurs in the City.
The best way to support job growth and working persons in Philadelphia is to support startup businesses in the City. Philadelphia leaders can support the startup community by reducing barriers to entry, building more flexibility into the City’s regulatory regime for small and growing businesses, and expanding business support services.
For a complete plan, read the full Economic policy paper.