“It is the deadliest drug overdose crisis in US history. In 2016 alone, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War and car crashes, gun violence, and HIV/AIDS ever did in a single year. In total, more than 170 people are estimated to die from overdoses every day in the US, and most of the deaths are linked to opioids. Yet so far, there’s been a lack of policy action to end the opioid epidemic...If the opioid epidemic continues unabated, one high-end forecast by STAT estimates that 650,000 more people will die from opioid overdoses in the next 10 years…."
How do we keep this from happening? This well-researched article by Vox Media presents four broad categories of policy-based weapons to fight the multi-tentacled monster that has attacked my community and our country.
Here they are in a nutshell:
1) Prevent new generations of opioid users (by addressing the proliferation of prescription painkillers)
2) Make addiction treatment easier to access than opioid painkillers and heroin - (by increasing access to evidence-based alternatives to opioids such as medication-assisted treatment).
3) If we can’t stop people from doing drugs, we can make it less dangerous (through various harm-reduction strategies).
4) Address the other problems that lead to addiction (at the very least, to stop future epidemics).
“We know what to do, but we need to dedicate the resources to do it.”
In the coming months I'll be dedicating a lot of personal energy to my campaign to get into the WV Legislature to help in this epic fight to save lives. But the fight can't wait!
Raising our voices
Issues, insights and day-to-day adventures along the campaign trail