The Opioid Crisis–Plumb’s Plan vs Reed’s HELP Act

The use of opioids has increased greatly in the New York 23rd, as well as other rural area morphinepillsin New York and other states across the country.  The deaths of local opioid users have forced family, friends, and local leaders to look at the crisis head on, and changed the focus of the crisis from a law problem to a medical problem.

WEMT-TV, channel 18, on their site reported on John Plumb’s steps in ending the opioid epidemic. Plumb’s plan presented five areas of need that can be worked on simultaneously :

  • change our approach to pain management–develop pain pills that are not addicting
  • treat overdoses effectively–support rural emergency response teams and provide drugs that reverses opioid related overdoses
  • increase access for treatment & recovery– the need for treatment centers in our rural area. Please note that the county jails often are the only unofficially treatment center in the area
  • crack down on illegal drugs–the law enforcement wedge in solving this problem
  • develop an aggressive media campaign–trying to reduce the new opioid users

A detailed copy of the Plumb’s plan can be found here.

Rep. Tom Reed has also made an announcement about the Opioid Crisis. He is sponsoring the HELP Act of 2016, which would increase punishment for drug dealers, including the death penalty if the drug sale resulted in the death of the user. (Corning Leader 9/27/16)

An Huffington Post article explains why Reed’s proposal should not become law. They compare it to the 1960’s Rockefeller Laws and said that Reed’s bill “would reassert harsh, ineffective policies that defined the failed war on drugs”, and would more harm than good.

Reed, who claims to stand for State’s Rights, is now offering  a bill that would supersede all states’ laws on capital punishment.  Does he realize that convicted death penally criminal live for decades? John Plumb’s plan fight the opioid epidemic from multiple angles–Reed’s plan attacks it from only one–stopping individual dealers. It does nothing about changing the users’ situations, their recovery, or more treatment centers.

Rep. Reed felt he had to take a stand on the opioid crisis, especially since the election is just around the corner.  This is a hot issue in our district, and he understands  his base and they like firm stands, and the death penally is a pretty firm stand. has given the HELP Act of 2016 a 2% chance making it passing the Committee stage, and a ZERO chance of becoming law.

Thank you John Plumb for seriously looking into this important issue.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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