Friday - June 16, 2017 9:00 am

Fight against opiod addiction threatened by budget cuts

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It is an epidemic, but progress is being made in the fight against opiod addiction. We have seen the dangers, and the overdose deaths. It is a problem across the country, including in La Crosse. Much work has been done to prevent the problem. The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a number of bills in recent years designed to curb the addiction epidemic. We now better track who is buying these powerful drugs, and we have armed our first responders with anti-overdose drugs. Unfortunately, those anti-overdose drugs are being used with increased frequency. Locally, the heroin and opiod addiction task force has been working to solve the problem. But federal budget cuts threaten to stop that progress. Legislation passed by the House would cut Medicaid, which now funds one quarter of drug treatment spending in the U.S. And this legislation would end mandatory coverage for substance use disorder as an essential health benefit. That makes it harder for individuals, and communities to address this drug crisis. Taking away coverage and increasing costs for those struggling with opiod addiction is not the answer. We have made too much progress to turn back now.

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.