epidemic and made changes.
Yesterday in Martinsburg, and Berkeley County, West Virginia we saw 13 overdoses and overdoses in cardiac arrest here in town. To many of us this is no surprise that this trend continues. We know more work is needed to be done- until there are none!
I started thinking several months ago when our own son came back to Martinsburg from Huntington. Honestly, if the decision was mine he wouldn't have come back home. But, it's not. He's back and it is scary.
Tell me though, What do we have here in Martinsburg when they do decide to come home? Just because he went away, found help and came home clean it is not the end. This is only the beginning of what will be life altering changes as a way of life.
Well we have NA Programs. Yes we do, but they aren't safe. The drug dealers hang out there. Many who attend NA here are only there because they are forced to be there and they are only looking for connections.
Here is Martinsburg and Berkeley County we need...
More Awareness: We need to stop whispering about the problem
Student Education: Our young people need peer mentoring groups such as those like Nar Anon in which they can relate to each other.
Parental Education: Our parents need better information to arm themselves so that they recognize all of the earliest signs.
Harm Reduction that includes condoms, clean syringes, dirty syringe drop off, old prescription med drop off, HIV and AIDS testing as well as free clinic checkups etc... there are
Detox and Treatment on Demand We will have a detox center but we still need a treatment center for treatment on demand. Those living here in our community who when they are ready the bed is right there waiting for them.
Recovery Houses we I know we have a couple already- The Oxford house for men and the Chloe House for the women, but we need recovery and sober living houses
Treatment Industry Overhaul
Mental Health and Substance Use and Abuse Insurance Reform This begins with the understanding the relationship between substance abuse and mental illness. Only a mere 7.4% get treatment for both. Read Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
Change HIPPA Laws
Community Education I just recently read on a community page that the families of those addicted need to be arrested that tells me we have a lot of work to do in this community. Our community still has a long way to go in the healing process.
Medically Assisted Treatment Overhaul
Alternative and Holistic Treatment Options
Treatment in the County Jail
State and Federal Prison Treatment
Expand Drug Courts
Educate the Educators
Recovery High Schools: Many addicts do not have a high school education. Why not a recovery high school to help them obtain their G.E.D.'s? Why not include trade schools?
College Recovery Programs on every Campus
Federal Prescription Drug Monitoring
Electronic Script Pads for Physicians
Change Opioid Prescription Guidelines and Guidelines for all Addictive Medications
Medical and Dental and Student Education
We have both of these laws in place. People are still afraid to reach out in an emergency for fear of retribution due to the handcuffs instead of help.
It is not against the law or a crime to have an addiction problem. It is a crime however to possess drugs. Many users are still being arrested because the police found a needle with drug residue on it. This is why no one reaches out in an emergency.
The HIDTA Drug enforcement should be looking for those bringing huge amounts of the drugs into our community, not looking for those suffering with addiction problems and using residue as a means of arresting. That is just my opinion of course.
Civil Protection of Drug Addicts
Laws to Fight Distribution
Remove the Financial Paybacks and Incentives of Big Pharma
We need a transparent group to study all Drugs listed in the DEA Scheduled II, III and IV drugs
Smart approach to legalizing marijuana
Ban the Box and Remove the Barriers that exclude instead of inclusion People do recover from this disease and once recovered they cannot find jobs, they often cannot even find housing due to past offenses. They will never get better until we remove the road blocks in the way.
Mandatory Drug Testing in all grades of School including Colleges
WV Attorney General Patrick Morrissey has been doing a great job holding those accountable in this heroin and opioid crisis and epidemic. It would be great if the money's obtained in the lawsuits was used to put treatment centers in areas like ours with the highest numbers of overdoses and overdose deaths.
Mr. Morrissey Berkeley County and Martinsburg needs a treatment center here.