State Representative Robert Sprague hosts Roundtable
Attendees from both the private and non-profit sector, including Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp, shared with Representative Sprague their angle on the issue and offered ideas for solutions, from increasing funding for detox beds in the state, requiring regulations that address overprescribing, and assisting employers who provide second chances to individuals. It was cited that in the last 10 years there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of narcotics coming out of the medical system.
Representative Sprague discussed Bill 248 with the group, a bill that he sponsors, currently in the House that would require opiates to be “uncrushable.” This would help to eliminate a step in the addiction progression and require prior authorization for prescribers to ensure that people are trying every means of managing chronic pain before turning to prescription drugs. He also shared information on the HB249, the so-called “Good Samaritan” pending bill in the House which would give immunity for minor drug possession if someone were to call 911 in the instance of an overdose. Oftentimes, drug abusers are afraid of punishment, which prevents them from calling when help is needed. Rep. Sprague stated, “We want to encourage saving a life.” With the Good Samaritan bill, those that are offered immunity would receive a screening and proper intervention.
Rarely do people try heroine or other “street” drugs out of the blue. The addiction cycle is typically a progression that begins with an injury or some type of chronic pain that is treated with prescription pain medication.
Heroine is 20x stronger and much cheaper on the street than prescription drugs, so those that have followed this progression naturally shift toward heroine.
How can you help?
- Responsibly dispose of prescriptions when they are no longer needed
- Have an open conversation with your families and employees about the effects of drugs
- Support second entry programs for recovering addicts to help reintegrate them in the workforce