Drug addiction in our region’s restaurant workforce

– Working in the restaurant industry comes with long hours, low wages, little time off and sometimes, a workplace that nurtures an opioid, alcohol or other drug addiction. Workers who have been battling addictions for a long time are attempting to help others who are suffering but don’t know where to go. (WCP, 4/27)

Addiction has been such a persistent problem in the restaurant industry—and for so long—that chefs, bartenders, even owners, are starting to wave their white flags. They are increasingly acknowledging that drug and alcohol abuse is far too ingrained in the culture and is a complex issue whose solution is elusive.

An opioid crisis has made the menu of drugs more lethal than ever before, commanding fresh attention. November 2016 was the deadliest month for drug-related deaths the District has seen in five years. Thirty-two people suffered opioid-related deaths that month, according to the D.C. Office of the Medical Examiner. And the problem has been building—there were 407 opioid-related deaths over the past three years.

– The Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments is hosting the Regional Opioid and Substance Abuse Summit on May 9th for area leaders, healthcare providers, and researchers to discuss how to reduce the problem. Learn more

– Yanique Redwood, president and CEO of Consumer Health Foundation, called on the DC Council to apply a racial equity lens in policymaking in her testimony at the Committee of the Whole’s Budget Oversight Hearing on Tuesday. (CHF Blog, 4/26)

– This small foundation is engaging with its grantees to create long-term change. (NPQ, 4/26)

EDUCATIONDoes the No. 1 High School in America Practice Discrimination? (Washingtonian, 4/26)

– The Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments has released a report that recommends a region-wide one-cent-per-dollar sales tax to raise the funds Metro needs to fix its system. (WaPo, 4/26)

– Opinion: City buses shouldn’t be a priority only when wealthier people want them (ThinkProgess, 4/25)

HOUSING | How can DC address its missing middle, which is the lack of affordable housing for its middle class? (UrbanTurf, 4/25)

ENVIRONMENTD.C. Now Has A Free Composting Program (DCist, 4/26)

Well, we have bought “distressed” jeans….

– Kendra