This is my passion. As a doctor, I have seen and heard it all. I have a strong belief that this problem can be fixed with a whole community model approach. Congress needs to take a more committed, direct, and planned approach to the opioid abuse in West Virginia and surrounding regions. There are not enough details in the public sphere to understand how West Virginia will benefit from the current proposed budget. It is not enough to say, “close the pain clinics, limit the prescriptions by doctors, or put them in jail.” We need to start with education and prevention. We need to educate children at an appropriate age about drug abuse and provide productive afterschool and summertime activities. We need to address the underlying issues of why drug abuse begins. As a doctor, the most common reason I have found for why drug addiction begins, is the unfortunate reality of underlying sexual or physical abuse, and/or depression/anxiety in a person, which is why many turn to drugs as an escape. If these issues can be addressed, then we can start at a point, and begin addressing this problem from the ground up as a community.
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