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It costs taxpayers, on average, $60,000 to incarcerate one person for one year. I want you to think about this for a moment: sending someone to jail costs more than providing them treatment, stable housing, and private college education. Simply put, sending someone in a jail cell for a disease is far more expensive than rehabilitating them.​

Whereas my opioid addiction ended in July of 2015, in 2017, opioid overdoses became the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Between 2017 and 2022, opioid-related fatalities rose from 47,000 to 107,000. Over the last four years, Minnesota has experienced once of the highest spikes in overdose-related fatalities across the nation—a 44% increase since 2020.​

Sarah Gad Opioid Addiction

Did you know?

A recently incarcerated opioid addict is 129X more likely to die within the first two weeks of being released from jail than the general population for any reason whatsoever.

Sarah Gad Attorney Oopioids

Clearly, something is very wrong when we have the tools at our disposal to tackle to opioid crisis, and we have experts telling us how we can stop overdose deaths, but the death toll just keeps rising. Addiction medicine experts are unanimous that decriminalization and early intervention with medication-assisted treatment is the key to tackling the opioid crisis.

As Congresswoman, I'll take the lead on the opioid crisis. I will fight to decriminalize addiction and ensure that FDA approved, life-saving medications like Suboxone and naltrexone are readily accessible to those who need it, whenever they need it. I will educate my colleagues about life-saving, evidenced-based benefits of Narcan and safe needle exchanges, and prioritize making harm reduction a cornerstone of U.S. drug policy.


This is how we will save lives. This is how we will end the opioid crisis once and for all.

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