Over 130 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses. Opioid addiction is a severe public health crisis that must be addressed immediately. The addiction crisis Is fueled by the overprescription and availability of opioids. As the Mayor of Rivertion I created a program to destroy excess opioids in our community. Below are a few solutions that we must quickly implement to end the opioid epidemic, heal addiction, and save lives.
#1 End the Stigma
Those struggling with addiction should be able to seek help by telling their family, friends, closest loved ones, and medical professionals without fear. Opioid abuse is a health issue. It shouldn’t be treated as crime punishable with time in jail. Victims of the opioid crisis deserve our love and help. We must start to address this issue by changing the way we think about this issue.
#2 Reduce accessibility to Opioids
Many fuel their addiction by finding leftover pills in the medicine cabinets of their family and friends. We need to educate those who have prescriptions on the proper means of disposal to ensure that excess pills do not fall into the wrong hands. Right now, current take back programs force the stockpiling of opioids which can lead to diversion and those drugs winding up on the street again. That is why quickly destroying excess opioids is so important.
#3 Opioid Addiction Treatment in our criminal justice system
Addiction should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. Regardless, many of those intertwined in the criminal justice system are victims of addiction. An experience with the legal system should be an opportunity for change and to move forward to a more full and successful life. No one should leave our criminal justice system with a debilitating addiction. Our criminal justice system must prove the necessary resources to help people overcome addiction and get back on their feet. This will not only save lives but will reduce recidivism, prevent future crimes, and make our communities more safe while decreasing the costs of this burdensome epidemic.
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