After losing my brother to a sudden, unexpected heroin overdose in September of 2011, I was hit with a reality that many families in our city have had to face. People from all walks of life, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, have felt the terrible impact that drugs have had on both our home lives and community as whole.
Studies have shown time and time again that repeated short-term stints in prison have done nothing for these people plagued by addiction. While there is no perfect nor guaranteed cure for those effected by addiction, I do know that a cycle of entrapment isn’t the solution. When elected, I will push for reforms that will challenge the status quo on how we treat those battling with addiction and provide solutions that both heal and provide them with hope for a prosperous future.
To address this issue, we first have to make a push to educate our youth and adults about the dangers of heroin while also removing the stigma of addiction. This is a matter of a mental sickness that needs to be respected as such. Next, we need to seek out treatments for pain that are non-addictive while also providing accessible options such as Soboxone and Vivitrol for those already battling addiction while supporting our local needle exchange programs to prevent the spreading of Hepatitis-C and even HIV. We’re sitting on a ticking time bomb with so many addicted in Cincinnati and have to make sure that clean needles are accessible. Finally, we must reinforce our efforts by ending the cycle of imprisonment for those battling addiction while taking a hard-line approach on dealers by giving drug task forces the resources they need to be successful.