The Epidemic within the Pandemic

West Virginia Headlines

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTRF) Two U.S Senators continue to fight to put a stop to the opioid epidemic. What must we do to reduce this horrible problem?

 U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Captio says we were moving in the right direction before the pandemic. However, once people were isolated from their treatment and support groups, that changed.  

Senator Capito says the pandemic was difficult for many people; some lost their jobs and others began working from home. She believes this is a leading cause of the continuous rising numbers.

I think we always need to keep looking at medication assisted treatment and the availabilities of it. I think we obviously need to strengthen our defenses at the border and through China to stop this flow of fentanyl. That’s the killer right there, plain and simple and so there are no easy answers here. A telehealth treatment of drug addiction isn’t working.

U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Captio, (R) W.Va.

Senator Capito says loneliness and isolation are believed to be an influential role in this opioid epidemic. She says the treatment protocol we previously used at least has some success.  

Senator Rob Portman agrees that we need to get back to what we were doing before the Pandemic. He says in 2018 overdoses and their deaths decreased in both Ohio and West Virginia. In Ohio alone, there was a 22% reduction in overdoses deaths. 

Let’s get back to that, that was more preventions, more education, helping in terms of getting people into treatment who needed it and getting them longer term recovery.

U.S Senator Rob Portman , (R) OH

Senator Portman says it’s definitely a supply and demand issue we need to resolve. He says that last month there was a 42% increase of fentanyl being seized at the US and Mexican border.

And when I talked to the border patrol, which I have gone down to the border and talked to them, they tell me that they think the vast majority of it is not being seized. In other words, it is getting through. So a 42% increase, enough of this stuff has been seized this year to kill every man, women and child in America.

U.S Senator Rob Portman , (R) OH

He says everyone is negatively impacted by this issue because of what it does to our society. Senator Portman says until we fix both problems people will continue to die and families will get ripped apart.  

Both Senators say we need to turn to our previous ideas that were successful but look for a new answer as well.  

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