Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox on Monday unveiled his plan to combat Alabama's opioid epidemic - a proposal that includes the creation of a cabinet-level official to oversee substance abuse issues.
Maddox also said he would expand Medicaid to address the crisis. The Tuscaloosa mayor has said on the campaign trail that he would expand Medicaid through an executive order on "day one" of his administration.
"The expansion will increase the availability of and access to treatment and counseling that we so desperately need," Maddox said in a statement. "We also need to improve prescription drug monitoring and make medical treatments more widely available, like soboxone, which alleviates the pain of opioid withdrawal but is too expensive for most to afford without assistance."
As for the cabinet-level officer, Maddox said the official would look into how to solve problems with other drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine. He said the state should look into how it treated the crack epidemic - which led to imprisonment for many African Americans - as an example of how not to treat opioids, which affect whites more than crack affected blacks.Continue reading on AL.com