Offer: help solve the opioid crisis, have your student loans forgiven

Offer: help solve the opioid crisis, have your student loans forgiven

CultureFebruary 08, 2019 By Reilly Capps

The government will pay back your student loan for you if work on solving the opioid crisis.

That's the new offer from the National Health Service Corp. The NHSC has long forgiven the student loans of health care workers like doctors and nurses who serve folks in poor or rural areas.

Through February 21, they're accepting applications from people who are fighting the opioid crisis in underserved communities. They'll repay up to $75,000 in student debt — so long as you keep doing the difficult work for three years.

You can be a substance abuse counselor or work in a needle exchange to qualify.

The opioid scourge contributed to the deaths of 42,000 Americans in 2016.

[Opioid deaths are skyrocketing. Graph from Wikipedia.]

Programs fighting the plague have had a tough time attracting staff because the pay is low.

“We did a salary survey several years ago, which showed basically that we were competing with Burger King for staff," Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Behavioral Health told MarketWatch.

American student debt is through the roof, up to $1.5 trillion. This puts graduates under pressure to find high-paying jobs working for richer, healthier folks.

With this program, the government put is hoping to put a small dent in those loans, and a big dent in a health nightmare that just won't end.

[Student loan debt is climbing as a share of the economy. Graph from Wikipedia. Cover photo from Shutterstock]