Family Values, Lieutenant Governor Ohio Mary Taylor and the Opiate Crisis
The opioid crisis continues to rage on like a fever fever that won’t break. No amount of platitudes seem to get it under control. While “opioid task forces” and “town halls” continue to surface in communities, it’s an advanced calculus type of complexity with few answers or easy fixes. The death toll is rising leaving families in grief and turmoil with an ever widening ripple ring. Many grandparents are finding themselves again watching Sesame Street and making school lunches as they become primary care givers for a parentless generation. It’s nothing sort of the public health crisis of our time. It’s this generations HIV.
One of the great arrows in attempting to slay the beast is honesty. Like HIV, until people become honest about what was happening in their own family, there was no meaningful or measurable change. Additionally, as long as the plan was “abstinence” the problem continued to grow. Such is the state of affairs as Mary Taylor, Lieutenant Governor of opiate ravaged Ohio, revealed the problem within her own family. Taylor disclosed that her two young adult sons have both had issues with opiates, one is currently in treatment. This is a powerful message to millions of families who are given pause to reconsider the “privacy” that easily tips into shame and secrecy. Good on Taylor for stepping forward with this information.
Ohio recently passed a medicinal cannabis law. To date, they are hashing out the details of growing and dispensing. Like all states with cannabis laws, it takes a while to put that ball into play. Thats unfortunate to say the least and here’s why. States with accessible medical cannabis have 1/4 fewer overdose deaths than states without. If there were a medicine that could reduce he death rate by 25% it would seem that he State of Ohio would be in a big hurry to get that into the general population. So what’s the resistance? To date, “opiate dependence” has yet to be a designated qualifying condition. Ohio could be the first state to do so. Taylor, as a mom, could lead the charge to reframe the erroneous claim that cannabis is a gateway drug when the evidence shows that it is, for some, an effective exit drug.
Taylor didn’t comment on the treatment plan for her sons. She did spout an AA slogan “one day at a time”. Cannabis replacement may or may not be right for the Taylor family. Of course, High Sobriety wants what everyone wants, stable and healthy young men on a course to realize their potential and live in safety. Cannabis replacement is a viable option for some not all people. As a policy measure, it’s irresponsible to not implement it. 25% fewer overdose deaths? How can that possibly be ignored? Give it some thought, Ms. Taylor. It may not be right for your family but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for others.
Author: Joe Schrank, Editor-in-Chief