Tackle opioid crisis on multiple fronts
We are seeing glaring evidence of the opioid crisis each day in The News. Incarceration in the New York State prison system at $60,000 a year per inmate is not one of the better solutions.
First and foremost, the focus should be on education in our public schools. Start at fifth grade with a well-designed program outlining the multiple negative aspects of illegal drug use, and continue each year until graduation. This could serve as a deterrent. One example of this is DARE.
Some drug abusers get their start when they cannot get needed legitimate pain medications, and revert to alternatives such as heroin. If the need for pain meds is proved to be authentic, then proceed accordingly and responsibly. Expand the use of Suboxone to treat those trying to avoid heroin, etc.
Look at the experience of other countries that are dealing with this problem with remarkable success. Crack down on the illegal drug dealers with higher bails and longer sentences. Expand the capacity and number of drug prevention facilities such as Horizon.