Statement from Fred Muench, Partnership President and CEO, in Response to “60 Minutes” Feature

60-Minutes-opioid-crisis

We are disheartened to learn of the revelations in Sunday’s “60 Minutes” story. The story revealed lobbying on behalf of pharmaceutical distributors to limit the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to investigate and prosecute illegal shipments of opioids being diverted to small communities.

Representative Tom Marino of Pennsylvania was one of the main architects of the legislation handcuffing the DEA’s authority, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016. Rep. Marino is now the nominee to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). He is unfit to lead our national effort to address the opioid crisis.

We have a long-standing relationship with the DEA to help address the opioid issue. We have collaborated with them and local law enforcement to bring meaningful educational programming, resources and guidance to communities across the country.

It’s communities and families that have suffered most in the midst of this crisis, and we stand with Joe Rannazzisi, former head of the Office of Diversion Control at the DEA, and all he has done to help individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction. Now more than ever, we need a comprehensive public health response to the opioid crisis. As this continues to unravel, we vow to continue helping families and those struggling with addiction.

The keys to protecting and saving the lives of families affected by this epidemic should not be left in the hands of Tom Marino. Please let the White House and Congress know that you agree.

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    Elaine M

    October 25, 2017 at 3:33 PM

    As a woman in my upper 50’s I think it’s ridulous what I have had to endure for chronic pain. I’ve gone through surgery, and have arthritis in all of my joints. Plus my back is a mess. The clinic I have to go to is an hour and a half away. I’ve been in the office for up to three hours then an hour and a half back to my home. I have other medical issues that I have had to ignore because I can’t spend all of my time going for that particular ailment. Besides that, the nurses and doctors there act as if you don’t know your own body and level of pain you are in as well as make you feel as though you are lying only to get medication.. I’m ready to give up on pain control through normal means.. it’s depressing… Oh yeah, it seems like a person can’t have a mental illness and chronic pain too. That always comes up on the questionnaire we fill out at every visit and are also questioned by the provider about it as well. Everyone talks about less government control in our lives. What is this called??
    Sincerly, Woman in Tennessee…

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    Joseph A. Martinez, J.D.

    October 21, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    As a professional in the Substance Abuse Treatment Field for close to 30 years I am disheartened by what I saw on 60 minutes. I lived through the Cocaine and Crack Epidemic in S. Florida but this is much much worse. This is a public health and societal issue not just a criminal. It needs addressing on many fronts, not just enforcement, but demand reduction through education, treatment, resources for those in the throes of addiction, targeted funding with measured goals and objective not just throwing money at the problem. The men and women I am seeing as CEO of a 203 bed residential treatment center are younger (18 to 28) and already have a 7-12 year history of use. We also have to get back to basics as the breakdown of the american family does play a part in this as those of us in the field have been witnessing. One thing that I and my staff as well as the directors of other programs and their staffs do agree with when we all meet is that the clients that we are all seeing now are much different than those that we saw even 3-4 years ago. They are much younger, used “harder” substances, have a great sense of entitlement and basically do not “get it” as far the addiction process. At my center we have 30 NARCAN kits on site as well as metal detector wands, portable breathalyzers, and urine test kits. We have several folks that have been brought back more than once with NARCAN and up to 6 times. That is how perverse this epidemic is and the apathy that the users present. We need to get a handle on this as we will lose an entire population. In my state of NC we average 4 OD deaths a day. That is unacceptable.

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    Brian McCrady

    October 19, 2017 at 2:24 PM

    Disheartening to say the least. Truly greed and selfish business motivation have impacted our country and the opioid epidemic.

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