Opioid addiction knows no bounds, rich or poor, cities or suburbs, age and race are not a factor the impact is devastating, debilitating and too often death. The increase in deaths has been called an epidemic by some and a tragedy by nearly all.
Times change, it wasn’t all that long ago that marijuana was considered a drug problem in nearly every community. Today we see the “weed” as a legalized recreational option in some communities. Times have changed and our approach to the opioid addiction issue is changing.
There is no second chance when death is the alternative, our approach to opioids by the nature of the problem must be effective. There is no fool-proof answer but there are some different ideas.
Coventry Connecticut like many communities has provided their police with Narcan an opiate antidote to save lives. It is not a preventative it only addresses the problem after an overdose has occurred. The real goal over a long term in any community should be to prevent the addiction and eliminate the heartaches, broken dreams, and social costs.
In Eastham Massachusetts the local police are helping to pioneer and fund the local Project Purple, a group of students who share objectives of self-empowerment, making good choices and living without putting substances in their bodies. Members of the Purple Project take a pledge against substance abuse and ultimately attract others to seek their lifestyle.
The statistics and social scientists tell us addiction most often starts in teen years, and that is the time to emphasize prevention. Knowing an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is not a new concept, it remains solid advice in nearly all matters of health. Eastham understands the value of prevention but the program is not a guarantee.
One Connecticut legislator wants to address the issue on a state-wide basis. It may sound like a wise idea, the only problem is his thinking on how to accomplish the goal. State Senator Joseph Crisco is a Democrat from Woodbridge his problem is his thinking is in line with his party’s approach to a problem. His idea is to introduce another new tax.
Mr. Crisco wants to impose a new fee on the manufacture, distribution, prescription, and dispensation of opioids. Yes, you got it. He wants to tax those that legally obtain the drugs to treat serious medical problems and somehow wants you to believe that will stop those addicted to opioids. It would make a more rational conversation if it were said, don’t let any opportunity to tax go by,
Connecticut Democrats have already created a tax environment that is limiting economic growth and driving firms out of State. Senator Crisco is now targeting several pharmaceutical companies in Connecticut that manufacture opioids in a tax bullseye. Taxing those most in need of treatment, and compassion is not the sensible solution to opioid addiction and attacking another industry with new taxes is senseless.