White House Office of Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowski announced new policy this week that would shift the attention from incarceration to treatment and prevention to battle the war on drugs. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appreciates the new policy and says it will help Ohio’s fight, particularly against prescription drug abuse.
According to Kerlikowski, “We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem.” Instead, the new approach will look at addiction as a disease and something that can be helped through rehabilitation rather than through imprisonment.
In addition to keeping treatment high on the list of priorities, there will be a growing emphasis on educating people about prescription drug abuse and law enforcement cracking down on pill mills, or pain clinics that cater to addicts by loosely doling out prescriptions.
In Ohio the leading cause of accidental death is drug overdose, and many of these overdoses are on prescription medications. DeWine says that Ohioans need to learn to look at their prescriptions differently, that just because they come from a doctor doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe.
One critic of the new White House plan, however, says it doesn’t go far enough. Lisa Roberts is a nurse with the Portsmouth City Health Department and according to the Columbus Dispatch she believes the federal government should work to get the high-powered opiate drugs off the market entirely.
Her argument is that the FDA frequently removes medications that are deemed dangerous or have negative side effects. She suggests they use this power to remove drugs that are killing people, drugs like OxyContin and others that are frequently abused.
“This is the first time there has been death, disease and social destruction caused by health care,” she said speaking to the Columbus Dispatch. “And we can’t fix that?”
Many people become addicted to prescription medications after receiving a legitimate prescription after an accident or injury. Their tolerance for the medication increases and their pain management soon becomes a deadly addiction.
Often, addiction to prescription opiates will turn into a heroin addiction when the prescription drugs get too expensive. Not only is heroin cheaper, it’s far more potent.
For people who are addicted, help doesn’t come until they are confronted by an event that makes them take a long hard look at their situation. This event is often in the form of an arrest.
When you are arrested for drug charges, your whole life can change. But it does provide you with an opportunity to possibly get help for your addiction. If you are charged with a crime and want to know how you can take advantage of drug treatment opportunities, contact our offices today for a free consultation on your case.