A proposal to aid addicted inmates

 

To the Editor:

Over 2 million people in the United States are involved in the misuse of opioids.  More than 130 people die each day from overdosing.

This is not only an extremely pressing issue because of the mortality rate, but it affects the social and economic welfare as well. The costs of healthcare, loss of productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement are estimated to cost the U.S. $78.5 billion a year. Opioid use is more common in jails/prisons than the general population, but they don’t do enough to solve the issue. Untreated abusers return to the population still with an addiction and a lower tolerance which means a higher chance of overdose.

Three medications currently exist to treat opioid addiction, yet of 3,000 jails nationwide only 220 of them supply it. I am asking for signatures for my petition in favor of federal regulation of opioid abuse treatment. Specifically, I would like to work with the NIH toward a law requiring all prisons/jails to screen inmates for addictions, supply the medications, and remain up to date on technology and advancements regarding the epidemic. Please sign at http://chng.it/HZZrQfsKzt.

Alexis Cooper