The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

September 3, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Sept. 3, 2013

More must be done to curb drug epidemic

In West Virginia alone there were 200 to 300 known deaths from drug overdose and one can only imagine the national carnage.

But how many more were there that, while suspected, were unproven? Died because a driver was wasted on OxyContin? How many children and spouses are affected by this scourge? How much productivity is lost, etc., on and on, ad nauseam.

This is a sad commentary on the government that does such a pitiful little to curb this epidemic. Each year a few hundred people die from influenza and the government rises up en masse to tackle this plague, but thousands die yearly from substance abuse and our representatives just grin and nod and pat us on our begging heads with a “now, now, just vote for me.”

There are hospitals and special funds to treat every imaginable disease, but when it comes to substance abuse, things get very sparse. Treatment plans are often too expensive for the average wage earner or it is some poorly thought out plan that detoxes the abuser for three or four days and then he is given a few “atta boys” and off they go to resume their old habits.

The regulations to control the drugs used to treat substance abuse are ridiculous; thus, methadone has become little more than another addiction and suboxone regulations inhibit treatment rather than promote it.

Doctors are only allowed to take on 30 suboxone patients at first and then never more than 100 patients. Why? Are we afraid it will grow hair on our palms and bring us “peace without honor?” Seriously! Our leaders act as if this is the best they can do. Really? We can send men to the moon, robots to Mars and NSA can listen to every conversation on cell phones and a cow can be tracked from a birth stall in Canada to a slaughter house in Washington state but we can’t solve the drug problem?

Or is it because there is so much money to be made at the expense of our fellow man that the powers just simply turn a blind eye?

 

James E Lowe

Beckley

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