Letters to the Editor

Why we need to end the opioid epidemic

In Washington State there has been a local outbreak of opioid addiction. Many people are just looking for a quick buzz but they don’t know the true dangers of opioids.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has come up with a program called The DEA 360. This strategy takes an innovative three-pronged approach to combating heroin/opioid use through law enforcement, diversion, and community outreach. Local law enforcement in Washington State is taking the opioid addiction at a new view by many police officers acting as medical workers and drug counselors shifting from law and order tactics to approaches more akin to social work, according to the DEA. On in four people who get prescription opioids will struggle with addiction and/or die from using pills and other opioid substances according to the Attorney General Office. In Washington State on total 718 people have died from opioids. I personally believe that we as a community could do a better job in outreaching to people struggling from substance abuse.

I have gone to downtown Olympia and have seen many signs of substance abuse ranging from used needles to pill bottles. I think we could make it harder to get and not have access to certain drugs that are commonly abused, like oxycontin. We could ban the worst drugs.

Michael Welliver, Lacey

(Welliver is a student at Timberline High School)