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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion oped editorial

EDITORIAL: A higher price for drugs

illustration by Morgan Anderson

Medical examiners, law officials and users alike have labeled it as the “drop-dead” drug epidemic.

Daniel Rusyniak, director of IU Health’s Indiana Poison Center, told WISH-TV the synthetic drug fentanyl is being laced with heroin and sold to unknowing clients. Those clients often die instantaneously with the needle still in 
their arm.

This drug is 50 times stronger than heroin.

The American Institute of Toxicology reported a 9-percent nationwide increase in toxicology tests that have come back positive for both heroin and non-prescribed fentanyl.

Indiana has seen an increase in the same tests of more than 12 percent throughout the year.

States such as New Hampshire and Ohio are seeing an even steeper intake of the drug.

In New Hampshire, Attorney General Joseph Foster is pushing for all fatal overdose cases to be treated as second-degree murder by the police.

Foster’s proposal would cost New Hampshire $115,000 to put into action.

At the Editorial Board, we feel this is a gross oversight in how the drug epidemic is spreading. It completely neglects users and dealers of the treatment they need.

Putting people in jail who are prone to addiction will not stop the rampant use of deadly drugs.

Last June, 27-year-old Joseph Cahill died of an overdose in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from drugs dealt by Amanda Burgess, 27.

“I jus watch sum one die rite in front of me,” Burgess texted to her mother soon after she witnessed Cahill’s death. Her mother drove Burgess to the police station soon after.

One might think Cahill’s family would want Burgess to be treated as a murderer, but this was not the case. Rather, they were upset that Burgess had simply watched him die, instead of calling for medical help.

If Burgess had contacted medics, Cahill might still be alive.

Narcan, the drug that can reverse the effects of opiate overdoses, has to be immediately administered after an overdose. Since the rise of distribution, the cost for a kit is about $42.

Defense attorney Jim Moir told The Guardian, “I don’t think any drug dealer wants to kill a customer. That’s a bad business plan.”

The only way to stop the epidemic is through preventative measures such as long-term medical 
treatment.

Before he passed, Cahill was struggling with drug addiction, but had been clean for five months.

Once he got a job, he couldn’t receive free benefits like intensive outpatient programming. For this reason, it’s unfair to prosecute those with addictions so severely.

Not only is there a need to increase the aid that individuals without money can receive, it is essential those receiving the care are able to continue it for an extended period of time.

There is a high demand to keep rehab centers open so people who are susceptible to fall into this pattern of addiction can get help for it.

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