A Real War Against the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid crisis is destroying us from within. Last year, 70,000 died from opioid abuse, twice the number killed in traffic accidents, and a 4-fold increase from 10 years ago.
It is forcing our Courts to separate addicted children from parents; addicted parents from children. It is taxing the resources of law enforcement trying to stop turf wars among gangs, working to shut down drug cartels, and for medical personnel who must constantly respond opioid related emergencies.
It is a national problem, and a Georgia problem that requires a solution.
1). There must be a public education campaign about the risks of opioid abuse, and how to keep them out of the hands of children. Parents should fully understand the risks of leaving prescriptions sitting on a shelf or in a medicine cabinet.
2). Physicians who over-prescribe are part of the problem. They are unwitting contributors to the addition problem. We can insist the AMA better educate doctors on the kinds of prescriptions that lead to addiction. Law enforcement must clamp down on doctors who over-prescribe dangerous drugs.
3). The pharmaceutical industry must be held accountable for their role in creating this mess. The companies making and distributing opioids know exactly what they are doing; every new addict they create is a profit center until the patient dies. Taxpayers are footing the bill for treatment centers, overburdened hospitals and medical personnel constantly responding to drug related 911 calls.
Small time drug dealers go to jail when they get caught, and rightly so. When the bad actors of the pharmaceutical industry get caught, they pay a fine, then go on to sell some more. The quickest way to send a message to the bad actors is to put a few in jail and throw away the key.