Bucks County educators, health agencies and law enforcement – federal, state and local – have focused on the growing national opioid crisis and the increase in drug abuse and fatalities in the county.
We’ve talked about it on the air and attended scores of panel discussions. We recognize the urgency of doing something more in the face of rising trafficking and drug overdose deaths of too many young Americans.
Thursday, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency and declared “as Americans, we cannot allow this to continue.” There will be an emphasis on prevention, he said, noting a similar position as Nancy Reagan’s “just say no,” campaign during the Reagan years.
The president said the best path is not to start at all, not one time. The full force of the government will come down on the purveyors of death – we hope.
Meanwhile, homefront efforts cannot wane, either. We are fortunate in Bucks County and to have leaders who are aware of the deadly drug crisis and willing reach out to families also enlist the community in public awareness programs.
This week, the Pennsbury School District launched a community-wide task force to address the issue, emphasizing the need to recognize early stages of drug abuse and get involved in prevention and intervention.
Be thankful if you do not have a problem in your family, but do support any effort to bring awareness to the community and get involved if you can. Also, keep any “painkillers” out of sight and more importantly dispose of any unused medications on take-back days, usually run by local police.
One last comment: The danger of opioids is significant enough, but District Attorney Matt Weintraub noted on a recent Speak Your Piece program that an acute problem is the introduction of more deadly drugs into heroin, for example, resulting in overdosing and too often death.