Tags: drug abuse | marijuana | legalization | opioid task force

Drug Abuse, the Major National Security Threat

Drug Abuse, the Major National Security Threat
A box of the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan, sits on display during a family addiction support group on March 23, 2016, in Groton, Connecticut. The drug is used to revive people suffering from heroin overdose. (John Moore/Getty Images)

By Thursday, 22 June 2017 02:01 PM Current | Bio | Archive

ISIS and terrorism, though threats to National Security, pale in comparison to the toll of illicit drug use on our human capital. The proposed Opioid Task Force is fast heading for a role as another bureaucratic mess before it gets started for society, including the judiciary, social systems, and medicine, won’t admit that there is no cure for addictions. We keep pouring good money after bad rather than to hold individuals accountable to change their behavior.

Lessons learned from Prohibition and with cigarettes should reveal that cures still allude us while thousands are irreparably damaged. Stopping the move to sell marijuana without a medical prescription is a must. It is a shame that the government stands to make millions in taxes off of people’s weakness, which costs us more in crime, addiction therapy, and other collateral damage. There is no doubt that marijuana causes perception problems and judgment concerns which compromises its users, particularly in safety sensitive work including transportation and hazardous duty. Professional sports should not bow to allow athletes to perform under the influence which makes them impaired. If they hurt that much that they require drugs, they shouldn’t be playing.

There should be a ban on advertising prescription medicine on television as was done with cigarettes and partially enforced on alcohol. Allowing pharmaceutical companies to peddle their bodily altering wares directly to consumers is a major factor in the illegal rise and usage of opioids and other prescription meds. If you can’t sleep take a pill, if you are depressed there is something in a bottle which can help, and the list goes on while the side effects, which are frightening, trails off. Even drug specific cancer treatment pitches have entered the fray. We are creating needs which aren’t there and treatments which should first be recommended by physicians. Doctors are forced into untenable positions being afraid to refuse request for fear of losing patients or possibly facing litigation in denying treatment which television brings into the venue of a community standard.

Controlled drugs should be limited to no more than a one week supply. The move to allow drug purchases on the internet should be stopped as this will accentuate the problem.

As a previous detox director, over a 16 county catchments area, the biggest problem with addiction therapy is that it requires voluntary compliance. An addict doesn’t want to give up his high and will do almost anything to get that feeling. Employee Assistance Programs for high paying jobs does work for the loss of wages and is a powerful incentive for compliance. TROSA, a program in Durham, North Carolina, and one in California, shows good results but requires a two year commitment during which addicts are removed from their previous environment, compensated with housing and transportation when allowed, and provided jobs. Pritchard Farms in the mountains of North Carolina use to be a good haven as well. The problem with all of these is they require voluntary compliance.

Insurance companies cover mental health issues poorly and it is hard to find coverage for more than 30 days. Those who deride this system fail to understand that insurance is about risk and rewards. The numbers who repeatedly enter rehabilitation centers clearly demonstrate the financial risk to insurers from such coverage.

Limiting threats to safety means a more effective noninvasive testing system for drug abuse like the breathalyzer needs to be developed for a wide range of abused substances.

One way to stop the flow of drugs is to change the nation’s foreign policy so that those countries found to be importers of drugs into this nation are denied most favorite nation status and could face seizure of their financial accounts. When all else fails remember money talks.

Dr. Ada M. Fisher was the first black woman to serve as the Republican National Committeewoman. She was a candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, a candidate for U.S. Congress, and a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives. She is the author of "Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Solutions for What Ails Us, Book I." For more of her reports, Go Here Now.

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ISIS and terrorism, though threats to National Security, pale in comparison to the toll of illicit drug use on our human capital.
drug abuse, marijuana, legalization, opioid task force
Thursday, 22 June 2017 02:01 PM
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