The opioid epidemic is one of the more complicated issues politicians have to approach. While many people view it as a black and white issue, legislators have to keep in mind both medical professionals and law enforcement. The first point I made was to work with the opposition party to construct meaningful legislation. I have been very open with my criticisms of the Democratic Party in Connecticut. However, our differences must be put aside. I pledge that I will always stay open-minded and consult all members of the legislature, as well as members of the private sector whom it directly involves. Party politics will not work. We owe it to our constituents to prioritize their health and safety.
The second point I made was to increase education and work with medical professionals to prevent addiction in the first place. I believe we need to make a strong push for opioid education in our schools. Local D.A.R.E programs and mandated health classes often take a look at drugs, but do not place any emphasis on opioids. We have had a record amount of opioid related deaths in Connecticut, and we’re still trending in the wrong direction. Preventing addiction needs to be a priority in our schools. By adopting a well-rounded, evidence-based curriculum that challenges misconceptions of opioids, we can begin to heal.
Furthermore, medical professionals need clear policies. Legislators and their aides have seen a surge in emails and phone calls from uncertain medical professionals regarding dosages. We need to eliminate confusion! In addition to this, we should provide continuing education for the medical professionals.
Finally, we need to consult these professionals when writing our legislation. With all due respect to my fellow political practitioners (or at least the majority), we are not doctors. With this simple fact in mind, we need to gather the best information possible from those who are in order to make educated decisions moving forward.
The third detail I pointed out was ensuring the proper resources are available for those who are struggling with addiction. We as a state need to invest in life saving NARCAN, as well as long term rehabilitation. Aftercare is just as important as detoxification, and I intend to lead a campaign to let addicts know what options are available to them.
Throughout this process, I will also unconditionally support law enforcement in their search for opioid traffickers.
I will always be open to considering innovative new measures that can help curb this epidemic. Have any ideas? Hear about something? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org