Addiction to opioids including heroin and prescription pills like Vicodin and OxyContin is an epidemic sweeping our nation…
This epidemic is hurting millions of Americans who are struggling with or have lost a loved one to the disease of addiction. I share this pain. I felt it personally when I lost my son, who was just 25 years old at the time, to the crippling disease of addiction. I feel this pain every day.
After my son’s passing, I refocused my life to lessening the pain and stigma associated with this disease in our communities. I founded Shatterproof in the hopes of turning a story of tragedy into one of hope. There’s a lack of resources for Americans struggling with addiction, and that’s what I set out to change. Along the way I found that sound public policy is critical to providing a support system that can protect our children and save lives within our communities…
There are five critical protections that are vital to encourage bystanders to make that 911 call and, in turn, save lives the most lives possible:
1. No arrest, charge or prosecution for possession of a controlled substance.
2. No arrest, charge or prosecution for possession of paraphernalia.
3. No arrest, charge or prosecution for alcohol consumption by minors.
4. No arrest, charge or prosecution for providing or enabling alcohol consumption by minors.
5. No charge or prosecution for those who are on probation, pretrial release, parole, furlough or in the violation of restraining orders.
So, a person’s life has to be at stake before we stop arresting people for drugs? Instead of making all these new laws, wouldn’t it be easier just to end the drug war?
And to the states now adopting these new laws: Many states have already passed these laws, and I’m sorry to say that it hasn’t made that big of a dent in the overdose problem.
As long as the media and “experts” keep focusing on inaccurate portrayals of addiction, like blaming Vicodin and Oxy, I can’t see how progress can be made. Addiction is not about one drug over another, and advocates working on the side of patients should know that.
It always makes me uncomfortable when I come across another advocacy group started by a parent who’s child has died of a drug overdose (or suicide). I’m sure a lot of these people mean well, but as it turns out, many of these advocates do more harm than good.