Families Against Narcotics Opens Chapter in Northern Michigan

We’re getting a Families Against Narcotics chapter thanks to the benevolent blessings of Bob. I find it disingenuous since he’s using the FAN launch as a publicity stunt for his judge campaign:

I bet the other two candidates for 86th District Court Judge would have loved to be standing there next to the outgoing judge telling the electorate how they, too, are concerned about the opioid crisis in Northern Michigan.

I’m sure all of the candidates agree that drug addictions are bad and sad.

The FAN group works to address the opioid crisis by providing a support network for families and providing public speakers for community groups. That’s a great thing. I’m questioning only the timing.

Personally, I don’t believe that more recovery courts or more court grant money is the answer to the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis is far bigger than a water bottle or whatever they hand out for getting to phase II in recovery court.

Community awareness is great, but it, too, isn’t the answer. Most opioid addictions start with legally prescribed prescription painkillers. These painkillers are prescribed much too often, for much too long and without enough oversight or warnings to the young people who take them. Aggressive regulations on and oversight of medical professionals who use opioids in their practices is the best place to have a lasting impact.

In addition, science should continue to study why some people become addicted while others use the drugs in similar amounts without a problem. Perhaps the benefits of prescribing the drugs to young people far outweigh the costs. For heaven’s sake, you can’t use acne medication in this country without the government keeping tabs on you, but opioids are far too easy to get and use without meaningful, medical oversight.

Opioids seem to be the public health mistake of the early 21st century, just like smoking was seen as okay until we all learned that it wasn’t okay and we all should have known it all along.

Over time, law enforcement tends to oscillate between punitive justice and rehabilitation. We try punishing them for a generation and that doesn’t work, so we try rehabilitating them for a generation, and that doesn’t work, so we swing back to punishments. The only nuance is that today’s recovery programs are court-based and come with big-time grants which may call into question the impartiality of the prosecutors, judges and county governments that advocate for these programs. And as I said before, testing agencies need auditing and honesty checks. Because of this and this and this.

Slightly off topic – is the FAN lecture going to replace the vaping lecture at TCAPS? You know the one the kids had to sit through at the end of the school year where the cop said vaping isn’t cool and then they locked all the bathrooms at school? I’m no expert on bathroom access issues for minors attending public schools but that doesn’t sound very okay to me.

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