Gentle Readers, you'd have to have seen...I don't even like to embarrass them by describing things I've seen them do. Just take my word for it. The threat of losing our awe-inspiring senior members is one of the factors that is likely to kill this web site. Both Adayahi and Grandma Bonnie Peters have worked through more pain than the average pillhead could imagine--I mean "legitimate" pain, as in childbirth and broken bones and landmines in Vietnam, not just the pain of withdrawal from painkillers. Both of them could have been fairly described as permanently disabled, more than once. Both of them have worked through real pain and real disabilities for many years before this year. This is the year when additional disabilities have threatened both of their abilities to continue working even part-time in "post-retirement" jobs. It's been hard for them to bear, and hard for me to watch...and what stands out in my mind is that they've just said no, absolutely no, to pain "medications." Because they know that coming off pain medications is worse than the original pain.
Anyway, here's Senator Kaine, D-VA:
In 2014, more Virginians died from opioid overdoses than motor vehicle crashes. Nationwide, heroin and opioids account for approximately 25,000 deaths per year. And since 1990, opioid overdose rates have tripled.
In every corner of Virginia, I’ve heard how the drug abuse epidemic is hurting families, challenging law enforcement and leaving businesses without a capable workforce. The most heartbreaking aspect of this crisis is that many of the overdose deaths could have been prevented.
Naloxone has helped reverse more than 26,000 overdose cases between 1996 and 2014. This life-saving antidote is safe and effective, and this week I introduced a bill that would help expand access to it in federal settings and encourage states to develop co-prescribing guidelines for doctors dispensing opioid prescriptions. It’s called the Co-prescribing Saves Lives Act, and it’s supported by drug abuse task forces, Community Services Boards, law enforcement and health professionals. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has joined me in introducing this bill, and I’m proud to work alongside her to solve an issue impacting our states.
The drug abuse epidemic is complicated, but there are solutions Congress can take up to fight the problem. My bill would help save lives and establish clear prescribing guidelines that will help get vital information about opioids to doctors and patients alike. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important measure.