Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Clinton Discussing Substance Abuse, Addiction at Charleston Briefing
Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Heroin and other illegal substances have enveloped West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. It’s part of a nationwide plague. Over 23 million Americans suffer from a substance abuse disorder, yet only about one in ten receive treatment.

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton joins the national dialogue meeting in Charleston,  Tuesday, May 3, with community leaders , families, and responders. As Jim Johnson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy in Huntington, has repeatedly stated, “we cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out.”

Clinton has proposed a $10 billion initiative to combat the epidemic. Her vision includes prevention, treatment and recovery,  ensure all first responders have access to naloxone, require prescribers to have a minimum amount of training and consult a prescription drug monitoring program,  and prioritize  rehabilitation over prison for low level , non violent drug offense.

According to her briefing points, if elected, she will also launch a ten year  $7.5 billion dollar state/federal partnership. If a state comes forward with a comprehensive plan for how it will deliver upon the national goals set forth above with respect to its community, that state will be eligible for generous new grant funding. States must specify how they will work with local governments and stakeholders, and can then receive $4 of federal support for every $1 they commit.

 

 Huntington , WV and its police department has joined 971 other law enforcement agencies who are now carrying the heroin overdose reversing drug Naloxine.  http://www.nchrc.org/law-enforcement/us-law-enforcement-who-carry-naloxone

Although Huntington police officers and first responders only recently started  having the drug at their fingertips for intervention, the “miracle” drug has been credited with saving over  1,500 lives since August 1, 2013.   The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) has distributed over 19,100 overdose prevention kits. The drug temporarily blocks the effects of opioids  to restore breathing in a person experiencing respiratory failure.  

Huntington’s Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy last Thursday, April 28,  joined Michael Botticelli, National Drug Control Policy Director, in Washington, D.C.   Huntington was one of only 10 communities across the country invited to the meeting to discuss innovative solutions to combat the drug epidemic such as Huntington's Harm Reduction Program.

The arrival of warmer weather brings caution --- an increase in the amount of used randomly discarded syringes. Contact with the used needle could expose someone to disease or HIV.

Indiana police officer, John Gillespie, told an Indianapolis TV station they can be found in parks, parking lots, or behind buildings.  “They could be anywhere at anytime,” Gillespie warned.

If you find a used syringe, police advise caution .  Call law enforcement (911) and they will arrange for someone to come and properly dispose of it.