Law’s Michael Benza discusses drug addiction as a public health crisis

North Royalton mother whose son died from fentanyl overdose fights for justice, wants to end stigma against drug addiction
WKYCMichael Benza, professor of practice at the School of Law, noted that drug addiction is as much of a public health crisis as it is a matter for the courts. “We have chosen for the most part to address this issue as a criminal issue,” he explained. “That is a very blunt instrument to address underlying social, medical, mental health, and other issues that don’t get resolved in the criminal system. On the other hand, there is that social value when we hear that somebody has been accountable through the involuntary manslaughter for the death of a particular user. It gives us a moment of, ‘ah, there’s justice.’ The reality, though, is it doesn’t really change the underlying behavior of anybody involved.”