Opiate addiction and prescription drug use has been a hot topic for the last few years. As the number of those who are addicted climb, the media has been covering the amount of deaths and the various programs that are available for addicts. While there are many preventative and reactive treatment options for addicts, Robert Kostin, a Clarkston lawyer does not believe that they are enough.
Kostin has worked with Bryan's Heroin and Opiate Prevention and Education for the last two years, raising awareness about the dangers of opiate addiction. He believes that the only hope for our communities is to create a statewide conversation about how to create more comprehensive measures. He states that it is important for everyone to do everything that they can to help those who are suffering from opiate addiction, calling for an expansion of current tools and a solid method to prevent prescription painkiller abuse.
This increased concern rose from the overdose death toll from 2014 in Michigan, which rose a dramatic fourteen percent over 2013 statistics. This increase caused a reaction from Gov. Rick Synder, who recommended that the state updated the Michigan Automated Prescription System while increasing the availability of Naloxone and creating a new public awareness campaign.
Kostin does not believe that these measures are enough. He is certain that the government need to include opioid abuse deterrent properties (OADP) to ensure that the tide of this epidemic is turned. OADP medications are pills that cannot be melted or crushed which prevents addicts from using their prescription in ways they are not intended. research has shown that pills that have OADP have shrunk the market of pain pills by 66%.
While Robert Kostin knows that these measures will not be enough to halt the current opiate crisis, but he believes it is a vital weapon in this struggle.
He also recommends that increasing of organizations such as Bryan's HOPE, which raises overall awareness fo addiction and provides support to addicts. They have been working tireless to diminish the stimga that is associated with drug addiction adn to work to approach this epidemic the same way that the medical community would towards any disease or mental illness. HOPE supports the utilization of OADP as part of comprehensive measures that can help to combat the disease of addiction.
Kostin has been an attorney for the last twenty-five years and has seen the massive toll that opiate addiction takes on the justice system. He sees people who are being arrested for buying or selling drugs as well as committing crimes that feed their addiction. The penal system is not the way to treat these individuals. OADP would help to alleviate these problems before they make it to justice's door.
Many believe that this topic has been considered to be taboo too long and that it is time to make sure that it stays on the radar. The longer people look the other way, the more this issue will spread. Kostin hopes that with opiate addiction at the forefront of conversations, legislators will take swift action to use OADP in the fight against this epidemic.