Opioid Roundtable with Mick Rich

Last night, I participated in an hour long “Opioid Roundtable” discussion with senatorial candidate, Mick Rich, and Mayor Javier Sanchez. This is a multi-generational problem where entire families, grandparents, parents, and their children, are in prison. I heard devastating stories of people going through rehabilitation programs, but then returning to their life of drugs shortly thereafter. Several points:
  1. Local law enforcement does not have adequate resources and staff to tackle the problem of drug dealers. Offenders who are here illegally may get deported, but come back under a different name.
  2. Defense lawyers profit from these cases and judges turn a blind eye. A dealer convicted for possessing 6 pounds of heroin only got 4 years of probation, no jail time.
  3. Doctors could be over-prescribing opioids. State legislation requires them to track their prescriptions in a database.
  4. Mayor Sanchez said that this is a problem that requires an all-inclusive approach. We could target those at highest risk; statistics show us which kids are most vulnerable, even in 4th grade.
  5. The Pastor of The Rock Christian Fellowship explained the programs that his church offers for drug addicts. He has adopted 9 children, and has applied for grants to assist with his outreach. Our churches can play a powerful role in this epidemic. There is a culture and identity of drugs that is difficult to escape.
  6. Los Alamos Councillor candidate Dawn Voss said that Los Alamos was turning a blind eye to the problem of drug addiction. Our kids are being impacted, and it’s time to do something about it.