I thank the Miami Herald for its accurate coverage of the opioid crisis facing Delray Beach in the March 27th article, “How this South Florida city became an overdose capital.”
Having worked in this field for 30 years, I’ve observed as a member of the National Institute of Drug Abuse Advisory Council, ONDCP, and the Governor’s Advisory Council, that we keep grappling with the issues without getting to the heart of the problem.
We need a balanced approach involving four distinct disciplines: Prevention, intervention, treatment and after care. Each discipline is complex and sees the world through its own lens.
Working together is not easy. Imagine funding the arts and expecting a ballerina to paint watercolors or play the oboe. Each discipline fights for money rather than working side by side. As a nation, we fail to acknowledge that individual citizens play the biggest role in the drug problem.
Citizens must form healthy communities.
Prevention and after care isn’t possible without widespread citizen participation. Want to know who will solve the drug problem? Ask the old lines: “If not you, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?” Everyone is needed to solve the drug problem.