Improve Access to Effective Drug Treatment

Prescription_by_C_Scott_Lopez

Target: Buffalo, NY Mayor, Byron Brown

Goal: Increase access to medication-assisted drug treatment in order to curb use of dangerous street drugs.

Addiction is a dangerous beast, especially when it comes to hard drugs and prescription medications. It can affect nearly anyone and getting help can be difficult, because often, the victim isn’t aware he or she has a problem.

A new strain of heroin — one mixed with fentanyl, a prescription painkiller, has been distributed around Buffalo, causing alarming rates of overdose and death. Experts believe this new drug cocktail is the result of users being unable to afford fentanyl itself and cutting it with heroin. This mixture is particularly dangerous because users are likely dying within minutes of taking it.

Methadone and other drugs that block cravings are integral to the current treatment of addiction, but weaning off these medications can be tricky. Inpatient programs that do not use drugs like methadone typically do not adequately address the mental issues that cause addictive behaviors. Experts say that the best-known treatments for addictions include medication-assisted therapy.

To effectively combat the heroin and drug epidemic, antidotes and drugs like methadone must be made more accessible to users and there must be a monitoring system put in place by doctors who prescribe potentially addictive prescription drugs.

Please encourage Mayor Brown to open access to medication-assisted treatment for drug addictions and hold doctors accountable for prescribing potentially addictive drugs.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Brown,

A dangerous cocktail of heroin and a popular painkiller is being distributed across Buffalo — and it must be stopped.

Because of the rising costs of prescription medications, drug users often resort to heroin or mixing drugs together to mimic its effects. This is especially dangerous, and a new mixture of heroin and the painkiller fentanyl is causing a high number of overdoses and death throughout the city of Buffalo.

Doctors throughout the region should take special care when prescribing potentially addictive drugs like painkillers and understand the consequences if the medication should wind up in the wrong hands. Careless prescriptions can add to this epidemic of drug cocktails and overdoses.

Treating addiction can be tricky, but experts believe that medication like methadone is integral to recovery. Inpatient treatment centers without such medication don’t always cover the roots of addictive behaviors and sometimes stigmatize the use of medication as being “not clean.” Patients often relapse after these programs, sometimes to the point of overdose and death. To effectively curb dangerous drug use, users need affordable access to medically-assisted positive treatment options and antidotes.

Stop the cycle of drug use in Buffalo. Please open access to affordable addiction treatment options and hold doctors accountable for prescribing potentially addictive prescriptions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: C. Todd Lopez

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