Officials Look at Better Ways to Manage Opioid Epidemic
A 75-member advisory group working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office is getting closer to unveiling an action plan to combat the opioid epidemic impact communities throughout Pennsylvania and across the country.
The advisory group, which includes law enforcement officials, health experts and drug abuse prevention specialists (among other professionals), is working on a plan to push back against record numbers of opioid-related overdoses in recent years. It is working through the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics.
Generally, members say the plan centers on the concept of law enforcement officials sharing data and information on drug markets with public health experts, who will then be able to better predict and prevent overdoses. Public officials will also share information with law enforcement, hopefully with the same results.
Collaboration at the core of the plan
U.S. Attorney David Hickton, who is leading the effort, says that his office will continue to prosecute opioid dealers, but that he hopes the advisory group will come up with a cohesive solution that allows law enforcement officials to prevent these types of crimes from even happening in the first place.
As we await the plan from this unique group of experts, the good news is that this appears to be a smarter and more data-driven way to deal with the problem of drug addiction in our society. Rather than simply arresting, convicting and incarcerating those dealing with serious drug abuse issues, prevention would be a much more holistic — and likely much more effective way — of heading off opioid overdoses across the region.
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Pennsylvania, be sure to consult skilled Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.