At a time when more people are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction than at any other time in history, many people and organizations are brainstorming ways to help put an end to addiction. West Virginia’s Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, has some ideas, and is working with his legislature to put them into place.
Curbing Meth Production
According to the New York Times, Morrisey’s primary focus is the methamphetamine issues in the state. He has proposed measures that would greatly limit the amount of pseudoephedrine that can be purchased over the counter. This substance is used to make meth in home meth labs, and is found in many over the counter cold medicines.
The Attorney General’s plan would also create a database to track meth crime offenders, which would allow law enforcement to block their access to substances that are used to make meth.
Combating Prescription Drug Abuse
Morrisey also plans to combat the prescription drug abuse problem in West Virginia, by addressing the large amounts of prescription painkillers that are not disposed of properly. He hopes to create drop boxes across the state for residents to safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs.
Along with measures to address meth production and prescription drug abuse, Morrisey also has proposed a Good Samaritan exception to drug laws. This would ensure that drug users who want to get help would not face criminal charges if they seek treatment.
Legislators in West Virginia are divided when it comes to the Attorney General’s proposals. Many oppose sweeping changes that would make it difficult for individuals to buy cold medicine, or that would allow criminals to go free. Many others feel it is time for some big changes.
States across the country are facing the same kinds of decisions, as the government works to curb drug abuse. Prevention and proper drug treatment (medical detox and rehab) are still the best methods, and programs that target at-risk populations will be the most effective in reducing the incidence of drug abuse.