Washington, D.C. has released a 22-page report outlining its plan to reduce opioid-related deaths in the District by late 2020.
The Washington Post reports the city released the plan Monday, about a week after the newspaper published its investigation that found the city lagged in responding to the opioid crisis. The newspaper says nearly 280 people died from opioid overdoses last year, and the District was slow to implement promised treatment and prevention programs.
The city's report says nearly a quarter of District overdose victims used heroin for more than 40 years, and the Post says most victims were black. The plan outlines treatment, education and oversight initiatives, including establishing a board to review District opioid-related deaths.
City Council member Charles Allen says the plan's timeline is ambitious, but necessary.
Start-up costs of $24 million will mostly be funded by a federal grant to be administered by the District’s Department of Behavioral Health, the Post reported.
The city's report showed growth in opioid-related deaths every year since 2014, with 81 percent of all deaths being African-Americans.