Republicans rebel against powerful anti-opioid tools

Many Republicans have long blamed such programs that promote addiction, despite years of research showing that they reduce the incidence of infections without promoting substance use. Over the last decade, their opposition has eased as the opioid epidemic has devastated the community and Trump has promised to defeat the crisis. But public health experts fear that the country has witnessed the beginning of a broader Republican rebellion against these programs. This is partly fueled by an anti-scientific backlash against Covid’s restrictions.

Judith Feinberg, a professor of infectious diseases at West Virginia University, said: “The mood is deepening that experts don’t know anything.”

General Jerome Adams, a Trump surgeon who lobbied local authorities to promote the creation of a needle change in Scott County by Indiana health commissioners, but failed, addiction is a moral failure. More than a treatable illness that said there is also a factor of fatigue among Republicans who are more likely to believe. People feel they need to take responsibility for their actions after seeing the drug crisis continue, despite Congress and the state spending billions of dollars on treatment and prevention. Said Adams.

“Many conservative Americans feel like they’ve covered the opioid crisis in court,” Adams wrote in an email. “We have the attitude of enabling these controversial harm reduction measures and giving people a chance. Now it’s their fault if they don’t get better.”

Many needle exchange programs still enjoy bipartisan support, and some Republican governors are supporting legislation to expand their use this year.Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill last month to make Arizona the 38th state that allows needle exchange, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum Signed law Expanded the state program that was first enacted in 2017. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s administration was critical of Scott County’s planned closure of the program, but a law reaffirming that only local governments have the power to make such decisions earlier this year. Signed.

Public health experts say that what is particularly worrisome about the recent wave of closures is what is happening, especially in areas susceptible to disease outbreaks. In West Virginia, the number of people living with HIV has more than doubled between 2018 and 2020. State Health DepartmentAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Scott County is one of the ten most vulnerable to HIV outbreaks in Indiana.

Greg Gonzalves, an HIV researcher at Yale University, said: “Apart from throwing it into a smoldering fire.”

Needle replacement, which has existed for decades, also provides links to other services such as drug counseling and public health measures to reduce the spread of the disease. According to the service, people who use the service are five times more likely to start drug treatment and three times more likely to stop using the drug than those who do not use the program. Data edited by CDC..

Despite the reported benefits of needle replacement, critics across the country are united by the belief that providing needles allows drug use and promotes death from overdose. I will. This is the same type of sentiment that the federal government banned money exchanges continued until the mid-2010s.

“I know who wants to commit suicide. I don’t buy gun bullets,” County Commissioner Mike Jones said before voting for the end of the county’s program. Jones did not respond to a request for comment.

It was in Scott County’s 2015 HIV outbreak that many Republicans began to reconsider their opposition to needle change, with more than 150 people using predominantly contaminated needles to create powerful synthetic opioids. I was infected by injecting Pana. Over the next two years, six states, Louisville, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia, have passed legislation permitting such programs.

Some drug advocates said the pandemic changed their attitude towards these programs. Homelessness and the use of injectables have increased, as have needles discarded in public places. For example, a Republican lawmaker in West Virginia cited the growing problem of lint as part of the reason for cracking down on exchange programs.

A. Toni Young, secretary-general of the Community Education Group, a West Virginia nonprofit working to combat the opioid epidemic, said that needlesticks aren’t new, but a year of isolation from drug users. After the patience was worn, people said they were at stake. thin.

“People have exhausted all their sympathy for the pandemic,” Young said.

Democrats in other parts of the country have also complained about discarded needles and questioned the usefulness of needle replacement.Democrats in Atlantic City, New Jersey Push to end their city program, And Pennsylvania Senator Anthony Williams said his law to legalize needle exchange across the state faces bipartisan opposition.

“There are moderate Democrats who are certainly concerned about drug addiction, asking substantive questions about what this means,” said Williams, who represents the district that straddles Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Said.

Grays Harbor County and Scott County Commissioners will make local officials and community groups continue to use other services provided through needle exchange programs, such as links to addiction treatment programs, counseling, and STD testing. He said it was necessary. However, advocates of drug treatment are skeptical about whether these services can be maintained at the same level.

When Orange County in California ended its only needle and needle replacement program in 2018, their wraparound services also failed, said Philip Yaeger, CEO of Radiant Health Centers, who is focused on ending the HIV epidemic. Stated. His organization worked with needle exchanges to provide hepatitis C tests to people seeking a clean syringe, but that effort stopped when the exchange stopped. He also said needle change helps connect people to drug treatment programs that would otherwise not come for help.

“These individuals aren’t going to knock on the door looking for preventative services,” he said.

The number of people living with HIV in Orange County has increased each year since 2018, as well as the proportion of cases associated with injectable drug use. County health data. The end of the needle and needle exchange program in Kanauha County, West Virginia that same year, some experts believe, is also causing more than double the HIV infection each year around Charleston, the state’s largest city. I will.

“There is a direct connection,” said Feinberg of West Virginia University. He fears that new state restrictions on needle replacement will exacerbate the problem.

“The seeds for this have been sown,” she said. “The situation will definitely get worse.”

Republicans rebel against powerful anti-opioid tools

Source link Republicans rebel against powerful anti-opioid tools

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