U.S. House Democrats and Republicans recently came together to address the nation’s opioid epidemic. The focus was to create a task force to update best practices for pain management and establish a program funding substance-abuse programs in the states. Given that Wilmington is ranked as the worst city in America for opioid abuse, these steps are badly needed.
North Carolina needs to focus on limiting inappropriate prescribing and on safe treatment for pain management. We should reject bills like N.C. House Bill 1048 that make it easier for physicians to prescribe certain types of opioids, increasing access to these dangerous narcotics.
Bills like HB1048 create a false hope that drug companies offer safer “abuse-deterrent” opioids when, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that these drugs deter abuse. These drugs are just as addictive and dangerous as all of the other opioids that drug companies have marketed to the public.
The prescription drug epidemic is too serious for us to be placated by misleading legislation. We need to concentrate on the real issue and create a comprehensive plan that ensures we are working toward a solution, not expanding the problem.
State Rep. Susi Hamilton
The writer, a Democrat, represents N.C. District 18.