We are experiencing the most damaging health crisis ever to face our Nation. The only way to solve this problem is through collaboration. Law Enforcement cannot solve this. Medical professionals, educators, 3rd party health insurance payers, social service agencies, parents, treatment providers, communities and neighborhoods must join together and solve this epidemic as a village.
The pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry must sit at this table. Doctors don’t systemically look at pain as the 5th vital sign, but as a subjective symptom of an illness or injury, but what happens when addiction develops and becomes a REAL subjective symptom of the medication itself? The addiction must be treated! Educators and school districts must embrace our communities with relevant and effective strategies to assist both the student and the parent is critical.
Insurance companies who don’t provide adequate treatment or access to treatment based on the individualized needs, especially given the uniqueness of opiate treatment.
The judicial system that fosters a system with continual slaps on the wrists, hoping a spiraling addict involved with crime will somehow get it together without treatment simply induces harm, costs and recidivism. Treatment providers that release addicts too early, without relapse prevention or follow-up, in a week, or in a month - knowing they’re not ready.
And PARENTS, who think that it’s Not Their Kid, that it’s Not In My Backyard, and who don’t teach their kids from a very early age that drugs and alcohol are real, and that they’re real dangerous.
In my travels over the past 2 years while filming this documentary, I’ve seen just too many people doing the same things - separately - rather than working together. The federal, state, and local governments and agencies are talking about this epidemic. All have divisions and departments of addiction services that go to meetings to discuss approaches to dealing with how drugs and overdoses are literally devastating families tearing apart the fabric of America.