From the May 24 Elizabethtown Expressions high school newspaper we read of the renewal of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Opioid Disaster Declaration. The declaration will bring the official state of emergency to a 180-day period. The student writer acknowledges that the effects of the initiatives which have been enacted as part of the declaration are unclear. Our youth are catching on that our governing bodies enact more lip service than solutions.
They have heard Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman blame opioid use on cultural decline. While looking for the root cause of the opioid crisis Stedman has been busy pointing to marijuana references in songs and pop culture.
Recently Elizabethtown Area Communities That Care got down in the “weeds” hosting Sue Thau and the “science- based” messaging from the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America. One might mistake the science as unbiased if they didn’t also know that CADCA is sponsored by some of the largest opioid pill manufacturers in the nation.
State Sen. Ryan Aument has taken further steps to keep opioid treatment in the hands of the drug dealers themselves. Senate Bill 1152 would require patients to enter into a contract with their prescriber and comply with periodic drug testing. On the senator’s list of donors you’ll find a healthy list of pharmaceutical and health agencies.
Our youth are watching how our decisions are made and how quickly we can act in crisis. They see the initiatives put forth, and as the Expressions writer notes, the hope that our officials have in their programs. However. these proposals, at the benefit of pharmaceutical companies, sound more of Reefer Madness 2.0 than a solution to the crisis.