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Getting to the Root of Opioid Abuse

Sgt. Thomas Garrison of the Johnson City Police Department estimates 90 percent of all crime can be traced back to drugs. Though the state of Tennessee has taken steps to quell our opioid crisis by setting prescription limits and increasing regulation, overdoses continue to rise.

We are failing to solve the problem because we are trying to cut it off at the head rather than the root. Our tax dollars would be better spent on the front end with prevention.

The problem is worsening because the drug industry is a growing economic force. We are imprisoning dealers, for them to be replaced by new ones. Where there is demand, someone will provide a supply.

Our focus must shift from the suppliers, to the demand. We must decrease the number of people willing to buy opioids illegally.

The best way to decrease the demand is to prevent the next generation of potential users from getting addicted. The Adverse Childhood Experience test asks questions regarding sexual abuse, domestic violence and other factors which influenced a patient’s childhood. In a survey of 300, most patients scored at least a 6/10 on the ACE test according to Angelee Murray, director of Corporate and Community Development at Watauga Recovery Center.

Tennessee schools should administer this test to all students and use counseling to help students develop healthy coping mechanisms, before they turn to substance abuse. Teaching children how to cope lessens their susceptibility to addiction. The market for drugs decreases and dealers lose their jobs. There is no quick fix, but addiction prevention is worth the investment.



What will Roe get?

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe claims that “a family of four making $58,367 will receive a tax cut of $1,087” with the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Being an OB-GYN, Roe probably made a comfortable living and he probably saved and invested his money for the future.

Roe is also a member of the House of Representatives which pays him about $174,000.00 per year. So, Roe is probably a little better off — make that a lot better off — than the family of four making $58,367 that he uses in his example.

Which brings me to my question: How much will Roe save with this new tax bill? And don't say Roe won't benefit because I would bet he will get more out of this bill than a family of four.



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