One fact is that no one affected ever woke up one morning and thought to themselves, 'I think I'll become addicted to opiates today.'
But, as with everything it starts somewhere doesn't it?
The quick answer to that question is this problem started many years ago. It dates back into the early 1990's when big pharma companies approached doctors, physicians and hospitals and reprimanded them for not treating the Fifth Vital Sign- which is pain.
These big pharmaceutical companies offered the solution to treating that vital sign. It was called, OxyContin.
If you've been following this blog from the beginning you may remember a posting I wrote about the Oxy Express. If not, you can also read it at, How Did This Start? Hop Aboard WV's OxyContin Express.
On the sidebar of this blog you can also find the header that reads, Past Posts. In that you will also find information under titles of Big Pharma, Prescription Medications, Prescription Opioids, as well as The War on Drugs. Or you can enter various keywords into the search provided on this blog.
Fast forward to today when many State Attorney Generals who have been greatly affected by the heroin epidemic are moving forward and holding them accountable. Our own WV AG Patrick Morrissey is making great strides in the area of accountability for our problem here in West Virginia.
He is not only holding big pharma companies accountable, he is holding physicians, doctors and hospitals accountable for their part in over prescribing these opioid drugs here in West Virginia.
The monies collected from these settlements will go into grants to be put to use in the state of West Virginia.
You can read WV AG Patrick Morrissey's statement and commitment to Fighting WV's Opioid Epidemic by clicking that link.
We need to keep reminding Help instead of Handcuffs as this is an important solution. While yes there are times it warrants arrests. Crimes are against the law. Many of those affected by addiction have been watched and picked up by police after making a buy for their own personal use. Many have been arrested for having a syringe in their possession.
We need programs inside the regional jails as well as the prisons for the offenders who are incarcerated.
We now have the Day Court and The Day Report Center in place for helping those who have committed past crimes due to their addictions. That is an important step.
The community needs to know that these people do get better. They can go on to lead productive lives but often while they are trying so hard to get better, they face a lot of opposition and face huge discriminations in finding and receiving quality healthcare. As well as housing and other matters relating to getting back on their feet.
What we need to continue fighting against is politicians, the FDA and lobbyist groups who pay to play at the expense of this epidemic. We need to stop that. Politicians should not get rich on others heartbreak.
Now locally, there are those of us who blame our local politicians and law enforcement for not remaining diligent after the bust of The Hill in 1986 for crack cocaine. Crack never left. It just moved to other neighborhoods. Lately our law enforcement has been cracking down sending messages loud and clear with the traffic stops that are yielding drugs in large quantities. They need to continue sending that message loud and clear to those who are trafficking it in here.
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