Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
Linda has seen first-hand how the exploding opioid epidemic has destroyed the lives of individuals, divided families and demoralized our community. The stomach churning stories of addiction and death are all around us. This is a problem that does not discriminate based on race, gender, political ideology or socio-economic background. From babies being born addicted to those who begin taking prescription meds for pain only to find themselves one day dependent on them to teenagers with bright futures in front of them who accidentally overdose, this problem has touched all of our lives in some way.
As your next State Senator, Linda will work with Governor Holcomb to address this issue using a three-pronged approach: Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.
- Educating medical professionals on proper prescribing and dispensing of opioids as well as alternatives and abuse-deterrent opioid formulations.
- Expanding databases that medical professionals can use to access patients’ opioid prescription history.
- Educating the general public including students and parents about the dangers of opioid addiction and also the proper use, storage and disposal of opioid prescriptions.
- Ensuring that local health and education authorities are equipped with the resources needed to identify early signs of opioid abuse in our schools.
- Expanding access to addiction treatments for those who voluntarily seek them out as well as investing in more resources to help low-income addicts’ access treatment and keep them out of the criminal justice system.
- Empower local health departments and other front-line organizations to help addicts identify treatment options, access funding and transition into sober-living that includes follow through after treatment.
- Equipping local law enforcement organizations with the training and tools they need to effectively fight this epidemic.
- Employing treatment as a first option in criminal cases where a person is charged with misdemeanor drug charges
- Increasing punishment for repeat offenders of trafficking laws and those who sell product that ultimately results in the death of a user.