Editorial roundup


• The Lima News, June 10

Heroin and opioid addiction are unlike any drug problem we’ve faced before, and it’s time to start treating it differently.

…In many cases, these addicts get their first dose quite legally, through a doctor’s prescription. Then they lose control…

Once that legal opioid hits your system, it likely reprograms your brain. Once your body and brain believe they can’t live without the drug, the depths of your decline know no bounds. You might turn to the streets to buy it once your prescription ends. You might settle on a lower-cost alternative, such as heroin. Before long, you’re committing crimes and making other bad decisions…

There have been efforts to combat this drug, sometimes with unexpected consequences. A 2006 Ohio law meant to reduce people from “pill shopping” kept them from getting the drug legally but led to the rise of street heroin in the state. During a more recent crackdown, opioid prescriptions dropped 11.6 percent from 2012 to 2015, yet the number of arrests around the drug continues to rise…

It’s a complicated issue, with solutions needed from law enforcement, the medical community and the drug treatment community.

Most of all, it’s an issue the public needs to face and embrace. It’s much easier to fall into this addiction and dive deeper into its throes. We need to be more sympathetic, less judgmental and more eager to help…

Online: http://bit.ly/1PUOYcx

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The Columbus Dispatch, June 12

It’s disappointing that congressional Republicans are holding up federal funding needed to stop the spread of the Zika virus. Every day that passes without a full-on assault in the research lab and with education allows a frightening health threat to grow.

Just as federal response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic was slowed by an abdication of leadership, political ideology is trumping public health with Zika funding. With 14 confirmed cases in Ohio, including one woman from central Ohio who tested positive in late May after a trip to the Dominican Republic, there’s no time to waste in combating the mosquito-borne virus…

It would cost much more to educate and provide medical care should thousands of babies be born with microcephaly, a birth defect linked to Zika that causes an abnormally small head and brain. For most people, Zika is a mere annoyance… But for women who are pregnant or hope to be, Zika is terrifying…

Congress should follow the guidance of public-health experts in allocating the proper amount of money and not allow partisanship and ideological budget differences to let Zika advance. Congress can and should hold Obama accountable for properly spending the money. But if Congress dithers, the public can and should hold its members accountable, too.

Online:

http://bit.ly/1ULLXHb

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