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1. This should be addressed to Ms.Mary Cothem
The Federal Government is combatting opioid abuse. This is due to the serious national problem we have with the misuse and addiction of opioids. It is not just Heroin and morphine but prescription pain killers such as OxyContin as well. In 2013, approximately 1.9 million people abuse prescription pain killers in the United States and 517,000 on heroin. Therefore the United States has made significant efforts to reduce the misuse of opioids. Interventions include, having educational meetings at schools and community centers. Another way is having prescription drug monitoring programs and new restrictions have been made on pain clinics. Education of how overdose occurs and the distributing of naloxone, a medication that helps opioid abusers stop the abuse. Laws are also being enforced against pill mills and Doctor shopping. Wide spread raids are being done on pill mills. Drug courts are being used as well for individuals with substance abuse and disorders. It is an ongoing challenge to preserve public heath while individuals abuse prescription pain killers. There are people who legit need these medications for pain. These pain medications are still needed to treat such people with pain. There must be a way individuals suffering from pain can receive effective pain treatment. It is imperative to find the balance needed. (Volkow, 2015).
2. This should be addressed to Ms. Martha Carper
The “war on drugs” is a battle that has went on for decades, with very subtle results. I am not sure it is a battle we can win. Legislation has allocated a budget to fight this battle, however the success goals are somewhat disappointing. Per the DEA records, our government has spent $50 billion over the last 25 years to try and control the drug epidemic in this country (Stanford University, n.d.). The DEA records also reveal that only 10% of illicit drugs have been taken off the street (Stanford University, n.d.). That is a 90% failure rate. The impact we have made has proven to be ineffective.
Nothing has really changed since 2010, except for the rise of drug use and drug overdoses. The mindsets of Legislation need to change towards the use of drugs. Although, we cannot make them all legal, we also cannot continue to incarcerate every individual arrested for low level drugs. Drug addiction is known as a disease, so why not use the budget to offer treatment and help change the mindset of the users? The object is to deter an individual from drug use. Some individuals like the high but not the lifestyle that often consumes a drug user.