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Zac Oakes: Drug addiction is multi-faceted problem

'Action by Columbia City Council is a great step in this fight . . . I highly encourage people who support this program to call their magistrates and let them know that you support the program. Together, by each of us doing our part, we can fight back against the drug issue.' - ZACHERY OAKES

By Zachery Oakes
Commentary

When looking at the problem with drug addiction that is wreaking havoc on many of our tight-knit communities across Kentucky, it is important to realize that there isn't one easy solution to the problem.


Instead, it will take a multi-faceted approach of local and state leaders, community leaders, faith groups, recovery groups, health educators, and every citizen to do their part to fight against such a problem.

The syringe exchange program approved by the Columbia City Council Monday evening is a great step in this fight. I applaud the council for taking this step.

No, it is not a silver bullet to combat addiction in our communities, but it is one more tool to be used in a lengthy battle.

I know people have concerns. I know people wonder why we would give a needle to a drug addict. It sounds like that would just be enabling them, right? I disagree. Those who are addicted will find a way to get a needle, and many times, it will be a contaminated one. This will lead to disease transmission, which can be very serious.

Multiple studies into the program show that it does not increase the amount of drug use, but instead, shows an increase in the number of people admitted into treatment programs.

Syringe Exchange Programs give those in addiction the chance to be tested for diseases and also the opportunity to be admitted into treatment, which is a fantastic aspect of the program.

In addition, Syringe Exchange Programs make our communities safer by cutting down on the number of needles found on our playgrounds, schools, churches, businesses, parks, etc. It's heartbreaking to think of a small child coming into contact with a contaminated needle on the ground at a park or on a playground or in a parking lot of a convenience store.

I highly encourage people who support this program to call their magistrates and let them know that you support the program. Together, by each of us doing our part, we can fight back against the drug issue. - Zachery Oakes


This story was posted on 2017-05-02 16:33:23
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