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Tuesday - August 15, 2017 9:34 am

Declaring opioid epidemic a national emergency not enough

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President Trump is right when he says that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency. But declaring it such does nothing to make the problem go away. Trump has called opioid addiction a national emergency, and has convened a commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis. Beyond that, little has been done at the federal level. Trump has talked about getting tougher on drug users through an increase in drug prosecutions, and longer sentences for users. That sound much like the failed war on drugs this country tried for many years. But our prisons are overcrowded with those charged with drug crimes. And Presidents dating back to Richard Nixon, have tried, but failed, to win a war on drugs. Trump also mentioned beefing up border security to prevent illegal drugs from entering our country. But most addicted to opioids got hooked not from some illegal immigrant, but by their doctors, who for years have been over-prescribing powerful pain pills. When their expensive prescriptions run out, they often turn to the streets to land cheaper, and more powerful drugs. We don't need to re-ignite the war on drugs. We need more federal money for more treatment options, and more alternatives to opioids. Just declaring it a national emergency and forming a commission are not nearly enough.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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