Applaud Opioid Talk, Verify Actions

It was good to see the President come out with policies that may help alleviate the opioid crisis. This crisis has expanded from opioids and exploding into heroin use. That adaptive expansion as access to opioids is decreased is even costlier public health crises like blood borne pathogens and STDs.

Putting forward government resources to fund research into non-addictive painkillers is something much needed, and, frankly, something the GOP often sacrifice to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

Let’s applaud the talk then verify the resources and actions.

It’s also great to see the President be in favor of mental health treatment for those in the throes of addiction, as well as those within the criminal justice system.

Let’s applaud the talk then verify the resources and actions.

Attempting to eliminate some of the worst opioids on the marketplace and to limit patients to 7-day prescriptions can help decrease overdoses.

Let’s applaud the talk then verify the resources and actions.

Also, the focus on drug courts being a pathway forward for those caught up in addiction and the criminal justice system was a welcome one.

Let’s applaud the talk then verify the resources and actions.

The President chose to declare this a national public health emergency over a national emergency, which is unfortunate. That means there will be no additional funds without Congressional legislation. We all know how difficult it is for this GOP-controlled Congress to pass anything.

What was sorely lacking from Trump’s proposal was a national needle exchange program coupled with outreach programs.

Needle exchange programs might be controversial for some, but these have prevented HIV, Hepatitis, and other blood borne pathogen outbreaks. Vice President ended access to needle exchange programs in Indiana and created an HIV outbreak while Governor of the Hoosier State.

That level of shortsighted and reactive policymaking leads to costly chronic conditions that spread across communities and regions, usually under the radar. The threats of blood borne pathogens inside high risk groups can go unnoticed, undiagnosed, and untreated for years or even decades.

These types of public health crises are devastating to a region’s healthcare, social welfare, and community infrastructure. It creates division, prejudice, and animosity about complex health risks that aren’t tangible to many.

So, yes, I applaud the President coming forward today and talking about policies that might put a dent in the opioid crisis. I will be here watching for the funds and the actions to make their way to rural areas like the 15th District.

Here, we have more of a rolling heroin and opioid crisis unfolding. We have to tackle all, through prevention, maintenance, mental health, healthcare, and drug courts.

We can make real progress on this national emergency. We need real resources, real funds, and real actions, not just talking from a podium. 

Let’s applaud the talk then verify the resources and actions.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

Opioids, Marijuana, & Economy

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