The Fix: Examining Rhode Island’s Opioid Epidemic

The Fix: Examining Rhode Island’s Opioid Epidemic


>>>FOR ALMOST 80 YEARS, BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD OF RHODE ISLAND HAS BEEN PROUD TO PROMOTE A HEALTHIER RHODE ISLAND. BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF RHODE ISLAND. IT TAKES 18. >>>THE OPIOID CRISIS HAS TOUCHED EVERY AREA OF THE COUNTRY, IT’S THE DEADLIEST CRISIS IN U.S. HISTORY HAPPENING RIGHT HERE IN OUR BACKYARD. I AM KIM KEOGH AND WELCOME TO THIS RHODE ISLAND PBS SPECIAL. RHODE ISLAND HAS FACED MANY CRISES BUT FEW COMPARED TO THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC THAT HAS SO MANY RHODE ISLAND FAMILIES UNDER SIEGE. WITH THE 10th HIGHEST OVER DUDE — OVERDOSE RATE DOWN FROM THE FIFTH HIGHEST IN 2015 LOCAL LEADERS HAVE TAKEN HOLD OF THE REINS. THE OCEAN STATE HAS EMERGED AS AN INNOVATOR. GOVERNOR RIMANDO CREATED THE OVERDOSE PREVENTION TASK FORCE MEETING UP OF SCIENTISTS, PROFESSORS, AND THOUGHT LEADERS ON ADDICTION BUT EVEN WITH ALL THAT BRAINPOWER DEDICATED TO THE FIX, THEY HAVE ONLY JUST BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND THE GRIP OPIOIDS AND OTHER ILLICIT DRUGS HAVE ON OUR COMMUNITY. DURING THE NEXT 50 MINUTES, WE WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY TO SAVE LIVES. FROM FIRST RESPONDERS TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT DOCTORS, AND A FAMILY THAT HAS SUFFERED THE UNIMAGINABLE. WE WILL ALSO SPEAK WITH HEALTHCARE EXPERTS AND LEGISLATORS WORKING AGAINST THE CLOCK TO CREATE NEW POLICIES AND SOLUTIONS TO THIS DEADLY EPIDEMIC. >>RHODE ISLAND IS KNOWN FOR ITS SCENIC BEACHES, ICONIC LIGHTHOUSES, AND A VIBRANT CAPITOL. ALIVE WITH ARTS, RENOWNED RESTAURANTS AND BUSTLING COMMUTERS BUT JUST UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE, THOPIOID EPIDEMIC HAS TAKEN HOLD OF OUR COMMUNITIES, KILLING MORE THAN 1600 RHODE ISLANDERS IN THE LAST SIX YEARS. ON THIS DAY, OUR CAMERAS ARE IN PROVIDENCE. ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT COMMUNITIES IN THE STATE. >>9910 E. PLAZA. A MALE IS UNCONSCIOUS. HE HAS FALLEN OFF THE BENCH. >>THROUGH THE LINE. >>1746. >>WHAT THAT RUN. >>THERE IS SEMEDO STONE THERE? >>NO. >>COME ON. >>THERE WE GO. >>RELAX, RELAX. RELAX. >>DID YOU TAKE ANY DRUGS TODAY? WE GAVE YOU NARCAN AND HE WOKE RIGHT UP. DID YOU DO A LITTLE BIT OF HEROIN OR A LOT? A HALF HOUR AGO? AN HOUR AGO? >>A HALF HOUR AGO. ALL RIGHT. THAT’S ALL. >>THE DRUGS ARE SO POWERFUL THAT IF PEOPLE HAVE $10 IN THEIR POCKET THEY’D RATHER BUY DRUGS AND BABY FOOD. A GUY WAS BASICALLY DYING IN FRONT OF HIS TWO KIDS. WE WENT TO GIVE HIM NARCAN TO SAVE HIS LIFE AND AS I WAS GIVING IT, HE WAS FIGHTING ME LIKE THIS BECAUSE HE WANTED TO DIE. HE WOULD RATHER LOSE HIS LIFE RATHER THAN SAVE IT AND THERE IS TWO LITTLE KIDS WATCHING IT. >>POLICE CAPTAIN DAVID PALOMBO HAS BEEN A FIREFIGHTER FOR 27 YEARS AND SAYS OVERDOSE RUNS LIKE THIS ONE ARE A DAILY OCCURRENCE AND CALLS HAVE GUZZLED — DOUBLED. >>IT’S THE SAME COUPLE SPOTS IN THE CITY BUT DEFINITELY IT COULD BE YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR. IT COULD BE THE GUY WHO CUTS YOUR HAIR, A DENTIST OR A SCHOOLTEACHER. THIS DRUG HAS NO FRIENDS AND IT’S EASY TO GET ADDICTED TO IT. IT’S VERY HARD TO GET OFF IT. EVERYBODY IS DOING IT.>>Reporter: ACCORDING TO MEDICAL EXPERTS, AMERICA’S ADDICTION TO OPIATES BEGAN WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS LIKE OXYCONTIN, PERCOCET, AND VICODIN, WHICH ARE POTENT PAIN RELIEVING MEDICATIONS AND ARE TYPICALLY USED TO TREAT PATIENTS WITH ACUTE PAIN AFTER SURGERY OR SEVERE PAIN. THE DOWNSIDE, THEY ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND EXPENSIVE. ONCE ADDICTED, MANY TURN TO LESS ILLICIT DRUGS — LESS EXPENSIVE, ILLICIT DRUGS LIKE HEROIN BUT IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, ANOTHER DRUG HAS MADE ITS WAY TO THE STREET AND IS MORE POWERFUL AND DEADLIER THAN ANYTHING WE HAVE SEEN BEFORE. >>A LOT OF THEM WE PICK UP AND WE ARRIVE AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY DID. THEY ARE BUYING THE DRUGS ON THE STREET FROM PEOPLE THEY DON’T KNOW. THE END RESULT IS IF WE DON’T GET TO THEM IN TIME, THEY ARE GOING TO DIE. >>Reporter: HE IS TALKING ABOUT FENTANYL, A HIGHLY POTENT OPIOID WHICH EXPERTS SAY IS 100 TIMES STRONGER THAN MORPHINE AND 50 TIMES STRONGER THAN HEROIN, AND DRUG DEALERS ARE MIXING IT WITH EVERYTHING FROM PILLS TO HEROIN, AND EVEN POT. ACCORDING TO PREVENT OVERDOSE RI, AN ORGANIZATION THAT TRACKS OVERDOSES IN RHODE ISLAND, THE NUMBER OF OVERDOSE DEATHS RELATED TO ILLICIT FENTANYL IS ON THE RISE AND HAS INCREASED BY ALMOST TENFOLD SINCE 2009. IN 2016, OVER 60% OF OVERDOSE DEATHS INVOLVED ILLICIT FENTANYL, AND WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THIS POWERFUL DRUG, RESCUE CREWS TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS. >>WE ARE WEARING THESE BLACK GLOVES WHICH SHOWS IF THE CHEMICAL IS IN THEIR IT WILL SHOP ON THE GLOBE. WE ARE BEING A LOT MORE CAUTIOUS. WE’RE NOT RUNNING RIGHT IN THERE. WE ARE TAKING A STEP BUY AND MAKING SURE — STEP BACK AND MAKING SURE THE SCENE IS SAFE. THE LAST YEAR OR SO ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THAT DRUG AND HOW POTENT IT IS. WE ARE BEING A LOT MORE CAUTIOUS WITH THE STUFF. >>Reporter: AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THE EMOTIONAL TOLL RUNS HIGH WHEN YOUR JOB IS TO REVIVE AN OVERDOSE VICTIM ON A MIX OF FENTANYL AND HEROIN. A DEADLY COMBINATION THAT IS SEEN DAY IN AND DAY OUT. BUT PALOMBO SAYS IT’S SOMETHING HE HAS LEARNED TO DEAL WITH. >>THERE IS EMOTION IN THIS JOB. YOU TRY TO SHUT IT OFF. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR HOME LIFE AND/OR WORK LIFE. YOU TRY TO SEPARATE IT BUT WHEN FAMILIES ARE AFFECTED, WHEN PARENTS OVERDOSE IN FRONT OF THEIR KIDS, IT AFFECTS YOU. IT’S HARD TO TURN THAT OFF. >>Reporter: PALOMBO SAYS HE HAS GONE ON SO MANY OVERDOSE RUNS IN THE LAST YEAR, HE HAS LOST COUNT, BUT PREVENT OVERDOSE RI HAS BEEN METICULOUSLY KEEPING TRACK FROM FEBRUARY 2016 TO MARCH 2018. t:ERE HAS BEEN MORE g EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS FOR OVERDOSES THAT CAME FROM PROVIDENCE ALONE DURING THAT TIME.00 m t: OVERALL, RHODE ISLAND’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS HAVE HAD MORE THAN 3450 ED VISITS FO OVERDOSES DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD. TO PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE, THAT’S AN AVERAGE OF 129 VISITS A MONTH OR 4.2 EVERY DAY. FOR DOCTOR FRANCESCA BEAUDOIN, AN E.D. DOCTOR AT RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL, IT HAS BECOME ROUTINE. >>THIS IS NOT A SATURDAY NIGHT PROBLEM. THIS IS A 24/7 TUESDAY AT 8 AM, THURSDAY AT 3 PM PROBLEM AND IT WAS NOT LIKE THAT BEFORE. >>Reporter: SHE HAS BEEN AT RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL FOR 21 YEARS. I ASKED HER AND THE NURSING STAFF IF THEY EVER EXPERIENCED COMPASSION FATIGUE FROMTHE SHEER VOLUME OF OVERDOSE VICTIMS. >>THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC, OVERDOSES ARE PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING BECAUSE IT PREDOMINANTLY AFFECTS YOUNG PEOPLE. IT’S SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED, AND SO I THINK THE EMOTIONAL, THE HUMAN PART OF THAT IS REAL. I THINK IT IMPACTS US MUCH LIKE OTHER THINGS THAT AFFLICT YOUNG PEOPLE, LIKE CAR ACCIDENTS FOR INSTANCE. THE IDEA OF COMPASSION FATIGUE IS SOMETHING TO BE AWARE OF AND INTUNE TWO, AND NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. WITH THIS PROBLEM WE HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT. WE HAVE TO BE VIGILANT AND WE CAN’T BE FATIGUED BECAUSE THIS IS A LONG BATTLE. >>Reporter: THAT FATIGUE SHE TALKS ABOUT IS DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE SEES THE SAME FACES TIME AND TIME AGAIN. SHE SAYS GETTING SOMEONE WITH OPIOID USE DISORDER AND TO TREATMENT IS COMPLEX, AND RIDDLED WITH CHALLENGES. SUCH AS WITHDRAWALS, FAMILY COMMITMENTS, OR NO SUPPORT. SO WHILE THE MOMENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN OVERDOSE IS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY — THAT OPPORTUNITY IN THE E.D. >>YES, IT’S FRUSTRATING. I THINK IT’S FRUSTRATING IN THE SAME WAY THAT WE SEE PEOPLE COME TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT WITH OTHER CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS. WE WANT PEOPLE TO GET BETTER. WE WANT THEM TO RECOVER. NOBODY WANTS TO SEE PEOPLE COMING IN WITH REPEAT OVERDOSE, BUT YOU CAN’T LET THAT FRUSTRATION BE PRESENT IN YOUR WORK. IT’S A MILE — IT’S A MATTER OF OFFERING WHAT WE KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING BASED ON THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE AND RESEARCH WE HAVE, AND REPEATEDLY OFFERING IT TO THEM IN HOPES THAT EVERY TIME IT’S BUILDING A BRIDGE AND ONE DAY, SOMEBODY WILL WALK OVER IT. >>Reporter: WE SPOKE TO ONE YOUNG MAN WHO TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY BUT NOT BEFORE AND DURING YEARS OF ACTIVE ADDICTION. GARY ZIEMEN WENT FROM PILLS TO SNORTING AND INJECTING HEROIN IN A FAIRLY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. HE RELAPSED MULTIPLE TIMES IN FACILITIES AND EVENTUALLY HAD HAD ENOUGH. GARY HAS BEEN IN ACTIVE RECOVERY FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS AND IS PUTTING THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER. >>TODAY, I AM A FATHER, A SON, AND I AM A BOYFRIEND, JUST THINGS THAT I HAVE NEVER DREAMED OF BEING IN THE PAST THREE YEARS. >>Reporter: THE 28-YEAR-OLD ZIEMEN GREP IN CRANSTON IN AN UPPER-MIDDLE-CLASS HOME WITH HIS PARENTS AND TWO YOUNGER BROTHERS, TYLER AND RYAN. LIFE WAS GOOD. THEY WENT ON FAMILY VACATIONS, WENT FISHING AND GENUINELY ENJOYED EACH OTHER’S COMPANY BUT SHORTLY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, THINGS CHANGED. >>TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH OPIOIDS. >>I TOOK THE VICODIN BECAUSE I HAD A MIGRAINE AND AS SOON AS I TOOK IT, ABOUT 5 MINUTES LATER I GOT THIS OVER — OVERWHELMING SENSE OF WARMTH AND HAPPINESS. IT FILLED SOME KIND OF VOID I DON’T KNOW. BUT I WAS IN LOVE, YOU KNOW? >>Reporter: WITHIN 30 DAYS HE SAYS HE WAS COMPLETELY HOOKED ON PERCEPTION PILLS AND NOT LONG AFTER THIS HE MADE THE SWITCH TO HEROIN. >>I WOULD SAY WITHIN THE COURSE OF ONE YEAR. >>Reporter: AND IT CAME FROM THE MOST UNLIKELY SOURCE. >>MY YOUNGER BROTHER INTRODUCED ME TO IT. I WAS IN WITHDRAWAL ONE DAY AND I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. WHEN YOU ARE ACTIVE WITH WITHDRAWALS, YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. YOU ARE )a- I FOUND OUT IT WAS MUCH CHEAPER. IT WAS A [email protected]: AND I COULD STAY HIGH LONGER. >>Reporter: WHAT MAKES THIS STORY UNIQUE IS ALL THREE BROTHERS BECAME ADDICTED TO HEROIN AND OTHER OPIATES. THE FAMILY, PULLED APART BY DRUG ADDICTION. S SCENARIO FAR BEYOND BELIEF FOR THEIR MOTHER, MAUREEN KERSHAW. SHE RECALLS THE DAY SHE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH GARY. >>I WAS AT WORK AND I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS MOTHER’S INTUITION BUT I SAID SOMETHING IS WRONG. YOU CAN JUST TELL. I AM GOING HOME. SO, I HAD THE ABILITY TO JUST LEAVE. WHEN I GOT HOME, GARY’S CAR WAS THERE SO I KNEW HE WASN’T AT WORK. I THOUGHT GARY WAS VERY DEPRESSED. THAT’S ALL I THOUGHT. I THOUGHT HE WAS DEPRESSED. WHEN I WALKED IN, GARY WAS LAYING ON THE COUCH AND HE HAD A BLANKET OVER HIM AND HE WAS SHIVERING AND HE JUST LOOKED AWFUL. HIS EYES WERE SUNKEN IN. YOU KNOW. HIS EYES WERE ALMOST LIFELESS EVEN. SO I SAT NEXT TO HIM AND I SAID WHAT’S THE MATTER? YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS ALONE. I AM HERE FOR YOU. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP YOU. ALL ALONG I’M THINKING HE’S GOING TO SAY I’M DEPRESSED. WHICH WAS GOING TO BREAK MY HEART. BUT INSTEAD, HE SAYS MOM, AND I SAID YEAH HONEY? [ CRYING ] AND HE SAID I’M A DRUG ADDICT. I NEVER, EVER EXPECTED TO HEAR THAT. THAT WAS A BREAK IN THE SIDE OF MY HEAD AND I HAD TO SIT THERE AND LOOK AT HIM AND IT WAS SO SURREAL. I WAS THINKING HE JUST SAID HE’S A DRUG ADDICT. WHAT DO YOU MEAN? NOT MY GARY. AND THEN HE STARTED CRYING AND CRYING AND I CRIED AND WE HELD EACH OTHER. >>Reporter: WITH SEAT — WITH THREE SONS IN ACTIVE ADDICTION, MAUREEN USED TO QUESTION IF SHE DID SOMETHING WRONG BUT NOW SHE KNOWS SHE PROVIDED THEM WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. >>THEY WERE LOVED AND CUDDLED, AND ROCKS EVERY SECOND. WE LOVED THEM WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND WE HAD PATIENCE. EVEN WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED, THERE ARE TIMES I WOULD SAY I DON’T LIKE YOU RIGHT NOW OR I DON’T LIKE YOUR BEHAVIOR BUT THEY ALWAYS KNEW THAT I WOULD LOVE THEM. >>Reporter: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE TYLER WAS USING?>>OH, OKAY. ONE TIME, I WENT UNDER HIS BED TO VACUUM AND I HIT SOMETHING WITH THE VACUUM SO WHEN I WENT UNDERNEATH THE BED, I FOUND A PICTURE FRAME WITH A PICTURE TAKEN OUT, JUST THE GLASS AND I FOUND ONE OF MY KNIVES LIKE A VERY SHARP KNIFE ON TOP OF THE GLASS. SO I KNEW THERE WAS NO REASON WHY A PICTURE FRAME GLASS SHOULD BE INSIDE UNDER HIS BED WITH A KNIFE ON TOP. I DIDN’T KNOW BUT I ASSUMED AND REMEMBER BY NOW, WE HAVE RYAN ING AND GARY WHO IS USING, AND NOW TYLER. AND I DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN DENIAL. AS MUCH AS YOU DON’T WANT TO FACE IT AS A PARENT, YOU HAVE TO. >>Reporter: EVENTUALLY, ALL THREE BOYS MADE THEIR WAY TO A TREATMENT FACILITY IN FLORIDA. EXPERIENCING MULTIPLE RELAPSES ALONG THE WAY. BUT ON APRIL 21, 2017, MAUREEN RECEIVED A PHONE CALL NOTIFYING HER THAT RYAN HAD DIED OF AN ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE. HE WAS 26 YEARS OLD. THE YEARS SINCE RYAN’S DEATH HAS BEEN DIFFICULT BUT MAUREEN TRACED TO REMEMBER THE GOOD THINGS. >>RYAN WOOD ALWAYS SAID MY PICTURES OF A SUNSET. HE LOVED SUNSETS. HE SAID I TAUGHT HIM THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS IN OUR FREE. HE WOULD TAKE A PICTURE OF A SUNSET AND TEXT IT TO ME. I HAVE THE PICTURE OF THE VERY LAST SUNSET HE SAW AND THEN HE TOOK A PICTURE OF HIMSELF AND I WROTE TO HIM THAT NIGHT BEFORE HE DIED ARE YOU OKAY? BECAUSE HE DIDN’T LOOK RIGHT. AND THEN I RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE A LITTLE WHILE BEFORE HE DIED AND HE SAID YEAH, WHY? LOL. WHEN HE GOT BACK ON DECEMBER 28, HE CALLED AND SAID I HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME AT CHRISTMAS. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I LOVE BOB, HIS STEPDAD. THANK YOU AGAIN. WE WILL TALK TO YOU SOON. I HAD THAT VOICE MESSAGE FOR A LONG TIME AND ABOUT FOUR MONTHS AGO, I UPDATED MY PHONE AND I LOST THE VOICE MESSAGE SO NOW I DON’T EVEN HAVE RYAN’S VOICE. IT’S GONE FOREVER. >>Reporter: ACCORDING TO GARY, RYAN THOUGHT HE WAS BUYING HEROIN THE NIGHT HE DIED BUT ,+Ñ WHEN THE AUTOPSY CAME BACK, IT SHOWED ONLY FENTANYL /ñIN HIS SYSTEM. SINCE THAT DAY, MAUREEN AND BOB ARE TAKING LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME. THEY RELAX OVERLOOKING THE POND WHERE THEY USED TO SIT AS A FAMILY. >>I LOVE YOU.>>Reporter: GARY IS DOING WELL AND WORKING WITH OTHERS WHO STRUGGLE WITH ADDICTION AT COMMUNITY CARE AND SPECIALIST ALLIANCE. >>A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF COMING OFF HEROIN BECAUSE OF THE WITHDRAWALS BUT I WOULD HIGHLY, HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO JUST DO IT. IS JUST WELL WORTH IT. I’VE DONE IT MULTIPLE TIMES. EVENTUALLY, I HAD ENOUGH. I HAD THIS EPIPHANY. IF I DON’T DO HEROIN, I WON’T END UP BACK IN A TREATMENT CENTER? THIS IS GREAT. EVENTUALLY, I JUST HAD ENOUGH. I WANTED SOME STABILITY IN MY LIFE. I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A FAMILY, AND TO JUST LIVE. TO KEEP IT REALLY SIMPLE. AND NOT TO SOUND LIKE A D.A.R.E. OFFICER THAT SAYS DON’T BE KIDS BUT SERIOUSLY, YOU JUST CAN’T EVEN TRY OPIATES ONCE BECAUSE YOU ARE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE. YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE THAT PILL OR DO HEROIN. THERE IS A 50-50 CHANCE WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO HATE IT AND NEVER WANT TO TOUCH IT AGAIN OR YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT AND IT’S GOING TO FILL THAT VOID. IT’S GOING TO OVERCOME YOU WITH WARMTH AND HAPPINESS AND IT’S ALL AN ILLUSION. >>Reporter: BUT THE ILLUSION IS REAL FOR MANY FAMILIES. THE OPIOID CRISIS IS AN ISSUE THAT LEGISLATORS, DOCTORS AND EXPERTS IN ADDICTION ARE TAKING SERIOLY AND WORKING TIRELESSLY TO FIND WAYS TO OVERME. SENATOR JOSH MUELLER IS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TASK FORCE OF STATE LEGISLATORS. HE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH IDENTIFYING SOLUTIONS TO THE ADDICTION CRISIS. HE WORKED CLOSELY WITH PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HASBRO BRIAN GOLDNER, WHO LOST A SON TO ADDICTION. TOGETHER, THEY HAVE SHAPED OPIOID ADDICTION POLICY IN RHODE ISLAND., 2016, THEY PUSHED FORWARD EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS. >>IT’S CALLED THE PERRY GOLDMAN ACT BECAUSE THE — PERRY GOLDNER ACT BECAUSE BOTH FAMILIES HAD SONS WHO DIED OF OVERDOSES AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THOSE CASES, APPLIED TO WHAT HAPPENS IN EMERGENCY ROOMS. BOTH HAD HAD SEVERAL OVERDOSE SITUATIONS THAT LED THEM TO ENGAGE IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM. THERE ARE SEVERAL COMPONENTS TO IT THAT WE FEELR5ósn7sn SINCE I HAVE LED TO BETTER PROTOCOLS AND BETTER OUTCOMES IN EMERGENCY ROOMS. >>ONE OF THOSE PROTOCOLS IS TO RECEIVE A PATIENT’S CONSENT TO CALL THEIR EMERGENCY CONTACT WHILE IN THE E.D. HAD THE GOLDNER’S NONA THEIR SON’S ADDICTION AND HIS MULTIPLE VISITS TO THE E.D., THE THOUGHT IS THEY COULD HAVE INTERVENED AND GOTTEN BRANDON TREATMENT. OF THE PROTOCOL TO THE PERRY GOLDNER ACT, IS PROVIDING A PURE RECOVERY — PEER RECOVERY SPECIALIST IN EVERY E.D. ACROSS THE STATE. AS WE MENTIONED, GARY ZIEMEN IS ONE OF THOSE SPECIALIST. >>I TRY TO KEEP IT SIMPLE. I DON’T NECESSARILY WANT TO BOMBARD THEM WITH MY HISTORY. I INTRODUCED MYSELF, THEY LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT ME AND I LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT THEM AND I FIGURE OUT WHERE THEY ARE AT. HAVE THEY BEEN TO TREATMENT IN THE PAST. IS THIS BRAND-NEW TO THEM? HAVE THEY NEVER DETOXED IN THEIR LIFE? EVERYBODY’S STORY IS DIFFERENT AND NOT EVERYONE I WORK WITH I CAN HELP. I WISH I COULD HELP EVERYBODY. BUT SOME PEOPLE, WANT IT ONE DAY AND THEN A DAY LATER, THEY JUST ARE AFRAID. >>Reporter: PEER RECOVERY SPECIALISTS RECEIVE INTENSE TRAINING IN BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION AND TO PROVIDE NEEDED ACCESS TO CARE. SPECIALISTS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE E.D. 24/7. THROUGH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING ANCHOR RECOVERY, KODAK BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, AND COMMUNITY CARE ALLIANCE AMONG OTHERS. TYPICALLY CAUGHT — TYPICALLY, PEER RECOVERY SPECIALISTS HOPE PATIENTS WORK OUT A TREATMENT AND IT’S ESTIMATED ONLY 50% OF THE PATIENTS WHO COME TO THE E.D. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RESOURCE. LUCKILY, MORE PIECES TO THE PUZZLE HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE. >>10 YEARS AGO IF SOMEBODY CAME IN WITH AN OPIOID OVERDOSE, ONCE THEY WERE STABILIZED FROM THAT ACUTE PROBLEM, WE HAD VERY LITTLE TO OFFER THEM. NOW, YOU CAN SEE A PURE RECOVERY — A PEER RECOVERY SPECIALISTS — A PEER RECOVERY SPECIALIST, WE CAN LINK YOU TO TREATMENT, SOMETIMES THE NEXT DAY. WE CAN PROVIDE ACCESS TO MEDICATION -ASSISTED TREATMENTS. THESE ARE THINGS LIKE SOBOXONE AND VIVITROL WHICH WE CAN DO IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT. WE CAN PROVIDE NALOXONE, WHICH IS A LIFE-SAVING ANTIDOTE FOR OVERDOSE, AND WE DISPENSE KITS FOR FREE TO ANYONE THAT WANTS THEM, AND IN PARTICULAR PATIENTS WHO COME IN WITH AN OPIOID OVERDOSE. THAT’S A WHOLE COMPLEMENT OF THINGS WE DIDN’T HAVE FIVE OR 10 YEARS AGO. >>Reporter: MUCH OF WHAT IS NOW BEING OFFERED IN LOCAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE TRANSFORMATIVE LEGISLATION BY SENATOR MILLER. ANOTHER IMPORTANT COMPONENT TO SOLVING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IS GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO’S PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION TASK FORCE. A GROUP OF LOCAL EXPERTS THAT BEGAN COMMUNICATING AND COORDINATING THEIR EFFORTS IN 2014. ONE OF THE LEAD EXPERTS IS BRENDAN MARSHALL, AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIC GEOLOGY — EPIDEMIOLOGY AT BROWN UNIVERSITY. >>ONE THING THAT BECAME VERY QUICKLY CLEAR WAS THERE WAS A LOT WE COULD PROPOSE AND A LOT WE COULD DO. WE WANTED TO BE STRATEGIC AND PROPOSE MAYBE FOUR THINGS WE THOUGHT WOULD HAVE THE BIGGEST IMMEDIATE IMPACT. SO MYSELF BEING FROM VANCOUVER, I LOOKED TO A POLICY DOCUqñ$ THAT WAS GENERATED THERE, THAT FOCUSED ON THE FOUR PILLAR APPROACH, WHERE YOU INVEST IN FOUR PILLARS AND THE IDEA IS THAT APPROACH CAN HAVE A BIGGER IMPACT THAN IF YOU PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN EFFORTS OUTET OR SPREAD IN A D MANNER. THAT’S WHERE I GOT SOME INSPIRATION AND I THINK THAT IS IN PART WHERE WE ENDED UP WITH A FOUR PRONGED STATUS — FOUR PRONGED STRATEGY IN CODE — INTO RHODE ISLAND FOCUSING ON TREATMENT, RESCUE AND RECOVERY. >>ADDRESSING PREVENTION, ONE OF THE FOUR PILLARS IN THAT STRATEGIC PLAN IS THE PDMP, A TOOL ROLLED OUT INTO 2012 TO COMBAT THE EPIDEMIC, WHERE MANY BELIEVE IT BEGAN. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. DOCTOR JAMES McDONALD IS RHODE ISLAND’S MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR OVERDOSE PREVENTION AND A MEMBER OF THE TASK FORCE. >>THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING TOOL IS A DATABASE. ANYONE WHO PRESCRIBES A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE HAS TO BE REGISTERED BY US AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THEN THEY CAN ACCESS THE SECURE DATABASE AND THEY CAN SEE WHAT CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS SOMEONE HAS RECEIVED IN THE PAST. THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE WHAT FOLKS HAVE AT HOME. >>DOCTOR McDONALD AND HIS TEAM ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF POLICY AND STATE WEIGHT — STATEWIDE INITIATIVES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS AND HE BELIEVES THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS TO TREATING PAIN. >>ONE THING I WANT TO UNDERSCORE HIS PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS ARE THE WORST CLINICAL COOL — TOOL TO TREAT CHRONIC PAIN. WE HAVE OTHER TOOLS. WE HAVE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICINE. WE HAVE AVAILING OURSELVES TO OTHER DISCIPLINES. PHYSICAL THERAPY, CHIROPRACTIC MEDICINE, ACUPUNCTURE. THESE ARE DIFFERENT RESOURCES WE CAN OFFER OUR PATIENTS THAT IS A FAR SAFER OFFER AND WE NEED TO UNDERSCORE ALTHOUGH CHRONIC PAIN IS UNCOMFORTABLE, AND IT SUSPECT — IT’S IMPACTING OUR LIFE, WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO FUNCTION WITH SOME LEVEL OF CHRONIC PAIN THAT IS FAR BETTER THAN BECOMING DEPENDENT OR ADDICTED ON A PRESCRIPTION OPIOID. >>– >>Reporter: ACCORDING TO THE RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, IN 2016 THE PDMP RECEIVED 100% ENROLLMENT BY PROVIDERS WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE OPIOIDS AND OTHER POTENT MEDICATIONS. DOCTOR BEAUDOIN ‘S AN ADVOCATE OF THE PROGRAM. >>THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM IS A MEANS BY WHICH I CAN ACCESS RECENT PRESCRIPTIONS, GENERALLY FOR THE PAST YEAR FOR PATIENTS THAT I MIGHT CONSIDER PRESCRIBING OPIOIDS TO. I CAN SEE IF THEY HAVE GOTTEN OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, PERCOCET, VICODIN, OTHER OPIOIDS, BENZODIAZEPINE. THAT MIGHT HELP ME DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT IT IS SAFE AND APPROPRIATE TO GIVE SOMEONE AN OPIOID PRESCRIPTION. IT ALSO LETS US POTENTIALLY DETECT PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR. VISITS TO MULTIPLE PROVIDERS. MULTIPLE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OPIOIDS. MULTIPLE DIFFERENT HOSPITALS. IT’S ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK WITH PATIENTS ABOUT THAT. >>Reporter: SHE SAYS IN GENERAL THE PRESCRIPTION OF OPIOIDS HAS GONE DOWN AND BELIEVES THE PDMP HAS INFLUENCED THE DECLINE. HOWEVER, SHE ALSO BELIEVES THAT THE COMBINATION OF MANY PROGRAMS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT THE STATE. SHE SAYS PREVENTION IS A START BUT THE PRIMARY GOAL IS SIMPLE. IT’S ABOUT SAVING LIVES. MANY COMMUNITIES NOW HOLD TRAINING SESSIONS TO TEACH THE GENERAL PUBLIC HOW TO ADMINISTER THE LIFE-SAVING DRUG NARCAN. >>WE GIVE YOU THIS KIND. IT’S A LIQUID YOU ARE GOING TO DRAW UP WITH A NEEDLE AND A SYRINGE AND INJECT IT. WE WANT TO GET NARCAN, NALOXONE IN THE HANDS OF AS MANY COMMUNITY MEMBERS AS POSSIBLE TO HELP REVERSE SOME OF THESE OVERDOSES AND PREVENT THESE OVERDOSE DEATHS FROM HAPPENING. OUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE LONG ENOUGH THAT THEY CAN GET TO THE POINT WHERE THEY ARE READY FOR SUSTAINED RECOVERY. RECOVERY, WE KNOW IS A PROCESS THAT IS OFTEN PROLONGED AND OFTEN INVOLVES RELAPSE. BUT PEOPLE DO RECOVER FROM OPIOID DEPENDENCE, AND DO COME OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT AND DO ACHIEVE SUSTAINED RECOVERY. WE WANT TO GIVE PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINED RECOVERY AND WE DO THAT BY TRYING TO KEEP THEM ALIVE IN THE MEANTIME. >>Reporter: THE DAY WE WERE THERE, EIGHT PEOPLE SHOWED UP FOR TRAINING. PEOPLE ATTEND BECAUSE THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT A FAMILY MEMBER, A FRIEND OR A NEIGHBOR. SINCE 2012, AN ESTIMATED 18,000 NALOXONE KITS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED STATEWIDE BETWEEN COMMUNITY PROGRAMS, PHARMACIES AND HOSPITALS. AS A PARAMEDIC — AS A PARAMEDIC, DURRO HAS DISTRIBUTED THE MEDICATION MORE OFTEN THAN HE WOULD LIKE. >>I WOULD HATE TO COME ACROSS A PERSON WHO IS NUMB TO THEIR CHILD OVERDOSING AND DYING. THAT IS SOMETHING YOU DON’T REALLY GET USED TO AS A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. YOU ON HOW TO DEAL WITH IT. YOU LEARN HOW TO DO YOUR JOB AND MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR OWN LIFE BUT IT STICKS WITH YOU. IT’S HARD TO WITNESS, HARD TO BE PART OF, HARD TO BE INVOLVED WITH AND COMFORT THAT PERSON. YOU CAN’T COMFORT THAT PERSON. YOU CAN BE SUPPORTIVE, AND YOU CAN LISTEN BUT YOU CAN’T BRING THEIR KID BACK. THAT IS HARD. >>Reporter: THE HOPE IS WITH ALL THE PROGRAMS BEING IMPLEMENTED IS TO SAVE LIVES AND GET PEOPLE INTO RECOVERY. 25-YEAR-OLD RYAN DENNIS HAS STRUGGLED WITH OPIOID USE DISORDER FOR MANY YEARS AND IT EVENTUALLY CAUGHT UP WITH HIM AND HE WAS SENT TO PRISON.>>I GOT ARRESTED AND THE COPS CAME TO THE HOTEL AND HAD A BENCH WARRANT OUT FOR MY OUT — MY ARREST. >>Reporter: HE PARTICIPATED IN ONE OF THOSE PROGRAMS AND IS NOW INTERACTIVE RECOVERY. >>WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, MY DAD LEFT ME AND WE REUNITED AROUND 18 YEARS OLD. WE HAD A LOT OF LOST TIME AND WE DID DRUGS TOGETHER AND I THINK WE WERE TRYING TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME BUT IN THE WRONG WAY. I WAS USING OXYCONTIN, PERCOCET, KLONOPIN, ANY PRESCRIPTION PILLS. >>HOW ARE YOU GETTING THEM? >>OFF THE STREETS. FAMILY MEMBERS I GOT THEM. THEY DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU SICK.>>Reporter: BECAUSE OF HIS ADDICTION, RYAN BEGAN STEALING FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY AND BEYOND.>>I HAVE BEEN TO JAIL THREE TIMES. >>Reporter: FOR WHAT? >>TOO MUCH OFFICE STEALING. I WAS A THIEF BIG TIME. GOING TO GROCERY STORES. ALL MISDEMEANORS THANK GOD. I DIDN’T GET NO FELONIES. I SHOULD HAVE BUT I DIDN’T. IF IT WASN’T FOR THE FACT THAT I WAS ON DRUGS I WOULDN’T NORMALLY DO THAT, YOU KNOW BUT BECAUSE I WAS INTOXICATED IT MADE ME BELIEVE I COULD GET AWAY WITH CERTAIN THINGS. IS THIS GOING TO BE MY LIFE? WITHOUT THE PROGRAM, I MIGHT STILL BE IN IT. BUT BECAUSE I HAD THE RESOURCES WITH ME AND I HAD PEOPLE I COULD TALK TO, I REALIZED I’M 24 YEARS OLD. I DON’T WANT THIS THE REST OF MY LIFE. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME IT’S HAPPENED. WHEN AM I GOING TO CALL IT QUITS? AND THIS TIME BECAUSE THE PROGRAM WAS THERE IT WAS A BIG HELP. >>Reporter: RYAN IS TALKING ABOUT THE MEDICATED ASSISTANT TREATMENT PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED IN RHODE ISLAND’S PRISON SYSTEM IN 2016. THE PROGRAM IS GROUNDBREAKING. THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE COUNTRY TO PROVIDE FDA APPROVED MEDICATIONS, SUBOXONE, VIVITROL AND METHADONE. ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, 25% OF THE PEOPLE WHO COME INTO THE PRISON SYSTEM HAVE AN OPIOID USE DISORDER. INTO 2014, 60% OF ALL FATAL OVERDOSE VICTIMS IN RHODE ISLAND HAD BEEN INCARCERATED INTO THE 12 MONTHS LEADING TO THEIR DEATH. DOCTOR JENNIFER CLARK IS THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR AT THE RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND SHE SAYS SHE WANTED TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM FOR YEARS, BUT COULDN’T GET THE NECESSARY SUPPORT. THAT CHANGED UNDER THE RAIMONDO ADMINISTRATION. >>FUNDS WERE ABOUT $2 MILLION. THAT CAME FROM THE GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE. I THINK GOVERNOR RAIMONDO, YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE HER A LOT OF CREDIT BECAUSE NOT A LOT — NOT EVERY GOVERNOR WOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE A RISK LIKE THIS BUT SHE REALLY SAW THE DEATHS AS A TRAGEDY, WHERE THERE ARE SOLUTIONS, AND REALLY DEDICATED HERSELF TO FINDING THOSE SOLUTIONS AND PUTTING THE INVESTMENT BEHIND THOSE REALLY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. >>BECAUSE OF THE TREATMENT ACROSS OUR CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM, I CAN ANNOUNCE THAT OVERDOSE DEATHS FOR RECENTLY RELEASED INMATES, DECREASED BY 51% SINCE WE STARTED THIS PROGRAM. >>[ APPLAUSE ] >>YOU ARE SETTING PRECEDENTS HERE. HOW DID YOU PUT THE PROCESS IN PLACE AND HOW DIFFICULT WAS THAT? >>WE JUST TOOK IT PIECE BY PIECE. WE DECIDED WE WANTED TO MAKE IT A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM SO THAT MEANT WE WANTED TO TOUCH THREE POPULATIONS: PEOPLE THAT WERE COMING IN ON M.A.T., IN THE PAST THEY HAD BEEN TAKEN OFF, SO FIRST OF ALL WE STOPPED TAKING PEOPLE OFF OF TREATMENT AND WE CONTINUED THEIR TREATMENT. THE SECOND POPULATION IS PEOPLE COMING IN WHO WERE IN WITHDRAWALS AND BEFORE WE WOULD GIVE THEM SYMPTOM TREATMENT, BUT WE CHANGED AND WE PROVIDED M.A.T. TWO PEOPLE COMING AND FILLING ILL. — FEELING ILL. >>Reporter: THE SECOND TEAM WAS THOSE INMATES PREPARING FOR RELEASE IN THE COMMUNITY. CLARK SAYS THEY ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE. >>THE REASON IT’S IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE IT TO THE POPULATION AS WE KNOW THAT POPULATION IS THE MOST LIKELY TO DIE OF AN OVERDOSE. THAT THEIR TOLERANCE HAS GONE WAY DOWN AND IF THEY USE THE SAME AMOUNT THEY USED BEFORE THEY CAME TO PRISON, THEY WILL EASILY OVERDOSE AND COULD DIE. >>Reporter: WHY IS IT THAT THEY NEED M.A.T. AT THAT TIME? >>THE BRAIN HAS CHANGED. THE BRAIN HAS BASICALLY REMODELED, SO EVEN IF SOMEBODY IS AWAY FROM THE DRUG, IT DOESN’T MEAN ALL OF THE CHANGES THE BRAIN GOES BACK TO NORMAL. SO WHEN SOMEBODY GETS OUT AND THERE ARE TRIGGERS, THEY ARE GOING BACK TO THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD, SEEING THE SAME PEOPLE. THEY WILL STILL HAVE THOSE CRAVINGS. >>Reporter: FUNDING IN HAND, CLARK BROUGHT KODAK BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TO SET UP DISPENSING PROTOCOLS WITHIN THE PRISON. CODEC IS THE LARGEST NONPROFIT OUTPATIENT PROVIDER OF TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER IN THE STATE AND ITS NURSING STAFF POURS, PACKAGES AND LABELS EACH MEDICATION IN A HIGHLY SECURED AREA OF THE PRISON. THOSE INMATES PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM ARE TAKEN TO THE’S ROOM TO RECEIVE THEIR MEDICATION. BECAUSE CLARK IS SETTING THE STANDARD, SHE IS ALWAYS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THE PROCESS. >>WE ARE MOVING TOWARD GIVING THEM MORE IN THE MORNING AND THE EVENING BECAUSE FOR PEOPLE — MORE IN THE MORNING THAN AT NIGHT BECAUSE IT TENDS TO WAKE PEOPLE UP AT NIGHT. PEOPLE THINK IT SHOULD MAKE THEM TIRED BUT IT DOESN’T BECAUSE IT’S BEING USED AS TREATMENT, NOT ILLICITLY, SO HAVING THAT TREATMENT IN THE MORNING HELPS PEOPLE SO THEY SLEEP THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT. AND THEY FEEL BETTER AND THEY CAN BE MORE ENGAGED IN THE OTHER PARTS OF THEIR TREATMENT SUCH AS THE GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING. >>Reporter: APPROXIMATELY 2100 INMATES HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE M.A. PROGRAM SINCE IT BEGAN IN 2016, WHICH ALSO INCLUDES COUNSELING AND GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS. WHEN AN INMATE WALKS OUT THE DOOR, THEIR TREATMENT DOES NOT END. DISCHARGE PLANNERS AT KODAK COORDINATE SCHEDULES AND COUNSELING SO RECOVERY CONTINUES WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. THIS HELPS WITH TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM SEVEN LOCATIONS, SO PATIENTS CAN RECEIVE TREATMENT AND THEY ALSO HELP WITH HOUSING AND EVEN JOBS. RYAN HAS BEEN OUT OF PRISON SINCE FEBRUARY 2018 AND IS NOW EMPLOYED AT A LOCAL HOTEL. >>KODAK HAS BEEN ON THIS FOR THREE OR FOUR YEARS NOW. BUT IN AND OUT. THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT. WE ALL KNOW THAT. WITHOUT THAT, I WOULDN’T HAVE THE SUPPORT, SO IT’S GOOD TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE AND TRY TO FIND A PROGRAM IF THAT’S WHAT YOU NEED OR JUST A COUNSELOR. SOMEBODY TO TALK TO. IT FEELS GREAT. IT REALLY DOES. NOW I’M GOING TO BE ABLE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT MYSELF WHICH IS SOMETHING I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO IN A WHILE AND WITHOUT SPENDING IT ON DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, I CAN SAVE IT. >>Reporter: THERE ARE A FEW PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE ONE M.A.T. DRUG OR ANOTHER BUT IT’S NOT OFFERED TO THE ENTIRE POPULATION. THE ACI IS THE ONLY PROGRAM THAT MAKES AVAILABLE THE FULL SUITE OF M.A.T. GOING IN OR GOING OUT OF THE SYSTEM. CLARK HAD ENOUGH DATA TO PROVE THEY WERE ONTO SOMETHING. WHAT THEY FOUND WAS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2016, PRIOR TO THE M.A.T. PROGRAM, 26 PEOPLE DIED OF AN OVERDOSE WHO HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY INCARCERATED. DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD IN 2017, WITH THE PROGRAM IN PLACE, ONLY NINE AT THE OVERALL DEATHS WERE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD BEEN IN THE ACI. THAT’S A RELATIVE RISK REDUCTION OF ABOUT 60%. >>IT’S QUITE SIGNIFICANT THAT THE OVERALL STATE DECREASE IN MORTALITY IS PROBABLY DRIVEN MOSTLY BY THE INCARCERATED POPULATION GETTING TREATMENT, AND GOING OUT AND BEING SAFER, AND BEING HEALTHIER. I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT NOT TO PROVIDE M.A.T. WITH THE RESULTS WE’VE HAD AND THE MORTALITY RATES IN THE COMMUNITY. IT’S REALLY A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION. VERY HIGH MORTALITY. WE HAVE A TREATMENT THAT WORKS, THREE TREATMENTS THAT WORK. WE REALLY HAVE TO STOP JUDGING PEOPLE, AND JUST PROVIDE TREATMENT. THE STIGMA, THE JUDGMENT DOESN’T HELP ANYONE RECOVER. WHAT HELPS PEOPLE RECOVER HIS MEDICATION, SUPPORT, COUNSELING. BEHAVIORAL THERAPY. THOSE THINGS HELP PEOPLE RECOVERY — RECOVER. >>Reporter: ONE PERSON WHO UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF THERAPY AND COUNSELING IS MICHELLE TAYLOR, THE DIRECTOR OF OUTPATIENT HIV AND REENTRY SERVICES AT COMMUNITY CARE ALLIANCE. >>ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE FINDING OUT AS WE ARE TRYING TO IMPLEMENT THESE NEW OPIOIDS — OPIOID CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IS THAT BECAE OF THE NATURE OF THIS ADDICTION,PEOPLE DO NEED A LOT MORE SUPPORT. RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT, INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT TREATMENT. THESE ARE ALL LEVELS OF CARE THAT CLIENTS WILL OFTEN HAVE TO WORK THROUGH. BEFORE THEY ARE ABLE TO SUSTAIN A PERIOD OF RECOVERY AND AN OUTPATIENT LEVEL OF CARE. >>Reporter: TAILER SAYS THE STATE AS A WHOLE IS MAKING STRIDES BUT THERE ARE STILL MANY GAPS. SHE RECALLS A CLIENT WHO ALMOST FELL VICTIM TO ONE OF THOSE GAPS. >>WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS THAT SHE HAD ACTUALLY RUN INTO ONE OF OUR CASE MANAGERS IN THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT WAS ENOUGH, THAT CONTACT WAS ENOUGH TO BRING HER BACK IN. SHE HAD RELAPSED AND SHE WAS PROSTITUTING TO BE ABLE TO PAY FOR HER DRUGS, AND SHE SAID I’M READY. SO WE CALLED TO SEE IF WE COULD GET HER INTO A DETOX FACILITY THAT DAY AND THERE WAS NO BED AVAILABLE. SO WE WERE ABLE TO GET HER A BED FOR THE FOLLOWING DAY. BUT YOU KNOW ONE OF THE CONVERSATIONS WE NEEDED TO HAVE WAS DO YOU HAVE HEROIN AT HOME? AND THE ANSWER WAS YES, I DO SO WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT ARE YOU GOING TO USE IT? YES, I PROBABLY WILL. >>Reporter: IMMEDIATELY, TAILER WENT INTO HARM REDUCTION MODE. SHE MADE SURE HER CLIENT HAD A PRESCRIPTION FOR NALOXONE AND THAT SOMEONE WOULD BE WITH HER THAT NIGHT WHO COULD ADMINISTER THE DRUG IF NECESSARY. >>THIS STORY DOES HAVE A GOOD ENDING. SHE DID SHOW UP THE NEXT DAY. VERY FREQUENTLY, PEOPLE DON’T. THEY USE AND THEN THEY ARE LOST AGAIN. >>Reporter: DOCTOR McDONALD IS PART OF THE TASK FORCE AND WE ASKED WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THAT STORY. >>DO YOU THINK THE LACK OF BEDS AND TREATMENT CENTERS IS A PROBLEM? >>THE PHYSICIANS I AM TALKING TO, AT BUTLER, LIFESPAN AND KENT WANTS THE CENTERS. CODEC, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR PATIENTS. BUT WE MIGHT RUN INTO A SITUATION WHERE HUMANS INTERACTING WITH HUMANS ISN’T SO SMOOTH BUT WE SHOULDN’T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS AND I HAVE A FEELING THAT PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE THAT ARE LISTENING TO ME, WE WOULD HAVE SEEN THAT PATIENT THAT DAY OR THE NEXT DAY. WE WOULD HAVE FOUND A WAY. I THINK PSYCHOLOGISTS HAD OPTIONS THAT MIGHT BE SAFER BECAUSE WE CAN’T EVER ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO USE HEROIN. >>PEOPLE CAN BE VERY WELL INTENDED BUT IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OF WHAT’S GOING ON WITH OUR CLIENT, IF WE DON’T SEE THEM INTO THE DAY TODAY, WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS THAT REALLY WORK, SO BREAKING DOWN THOSE BARRIERS, AND HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN A POSITION OF CREATING POLICY AND THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OF THE RISE OF THE CLIENTS WE ARE WORKING WITH — LIVES OF THE CLIENTS WE ARE WORKING WITH AND THE REALITY WE ARE WORKING WITH, WE ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT TRIP TAILER ALSO BELIEVES THERE IS ONE BARRIER LOOMING LARGE IN COMBATING THE OPIOID CRISIS, AND THAT IS STIGMA. NOT ONLY IN SOCIETY BUT THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM ITSELF. >>WE NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE VIEW ADDICTION. AS LONG AS WE SEE ADDICTION AS A CHARACTER FLAW, AS LONG AS WE SEE IT AS A FAILURE OF WILL, WE ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT BECAUSE THE CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE ARE SO TIGHTLY BOUND TO THE IDEA OF MEDICATION -ASSISTED TREATMENT BECAUSE IT WORKS, WE THINK THAT IS A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR. THAT STIGMA AROUND M.A.T., THAT IF YOU ARE ON M.A.T. YOU’RE STILL NOT CLEAN. THE WORD IS “DIRTY.” THEY USE THAT WORD. WE ARE TRYING TO GET RID OF THAT LANGUAGE BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T TELL SOMEONE WITH DIABETES OR COPD NOT TO TAKE THEIR MEDICATION BECAUSE THEY SHOULD JUST WORK HARDER AT IT. WE SHOULDN’T DO THAT WITH ADDICTION EITHER. >>Reporter: BRANDON MARSHALL OF THE GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE AGREES. >>SIMPLY WHAT WE KNOW FROM DECADES OF STUDIES IS THAT ENFORCING OR TRYING TO MANDATE COLD TURKEY APPROACHES CAN FAIL FOR MANY, MANY PEOPLE AND M.A.T. IS REALLY THE BEST WE HAVE, A GOLD STANDARD TREATMENT. IT WORKS AND STUDIES AROUND THE WORLD HAVE SHOWN THAT. PEOPLE REGAIN FUNCTIONING AND THEY GET THEIR NORMAL LIVES BACK. THEY CAN GO BACK TO WORK, REENGAGE WITH THEIR FAMILY. >>Reporter: THE LIST OF EXPERTS WE INTERVIEWED WHO BELIEVE STIGMA IS PROBLEMATIC TO OVERCOMING RHODE ISLAND’S OPIOID PROBLEM IS LONG. TOM CODER WAS RECENTLY HIRED TO LEAD THE OPIOID RESPONSE AND SERVES AS A SENIOR ADVISOR. >>PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO ADMIT THEY HAVE A PROBLEM MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE PUBLIC ATTITUDES THAT EXIST AROUND ADDICTION AND RECOVERY. WE ARE SEEING SOME OF THAT CHANGE BUT WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO AS A SOCIETY. WE REALLY MORALIZE. PEOPLE WHO HAVE ADDICTIVE DISORDERS AND THE NEED TO TREAT ADDICTION LIKE ANY OTHER DISEASE WITH A PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE, NOT A MORAL RESPONSE OR CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESPONSE. >>Reporter: CODER RESPONDS THE OPINION BECAUSE IT — THE STIGMA BECAUSE HE ONCE LOST EVERYTHING. HIS FAMILY, HIS JOB AND HIS SEAT IN THE RHODE ISLAND SENATE. >>PEOPLES — PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THE POWER OF THOSE SUBSTANCES AND NEITHER DID I AT THE TIME. I BECAME ADDICTED AND MY LIFE STARTED A DOWNWARD SPIRAL. I DIDN’T KNOW IT AT THE TIME BECAUSE AS YOU MENTIONED, I WAS AN ELECTED MEMBER OF THE STATE SENATE AT 25. I THOUGHT I WAS INVINCIBLE. >>Reporter: HE SOON REALIZED THAT INVINCIBILITY WAS AN ALLUSION. FOR 2003 FOLLOWING AN ARREST DUE TO HIS ADDICTION, HE WAS FACED WITH A DECISION: GO TO JAIL OR GET HELP. HE CHOSE TREATMENT AND WAS SUCCESSFUL THIS TIME. HE HAS BEEN IN LONG-TERM RECOVERY FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. HE EVENTUALLY MADE HIS WAY BACK UP THE STEPS TO THE STATE HOUSE AND INTO RHODE ISLAND POLITICS. SOMETHING HE NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. >>WHAT I FOUND WHEN I SHOWED BACK UP HERE, TO MY SURPRISE AND MY DELIGHT, WAS THE OPPOSITE HAPPENED. MY FORMER COLLEAGUES RAN TO GIVE ME GREAT BIG HUGS, AND WELCOME ME BACK AND TELL ME HOW GOOD I LOOKED AND HOW GOOD I WAS DOING AND HOW PROUD THEY WERE OF ME. SO THOSE FEARS I HAD WERE SHATTERED IMMEDIATELY WHEN THAT HAPPENED. IT WAS AMAZING. >>Reporter: NOT ONLY HAS HE RETURNED TO POLITICS LOCALLY, SERVING AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO FORMER SENATE PRESIDENT TERESA PIE THE WHEAT — PIVOWAIT BUT HE ALSO WORKED FOR SAMSA UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BUT BACK INTO RHODE ISLAND HE CONTINUES TO WORK DILIGENTLY FOR SOLUTIONS. ONE IDEA THAT CAME OUT OF A TASK FORCE IS THE SAFE STATIONS PROJECT. >>EVERY FIRE STATION IS NOW A PLACE WHERE SOMEONE CAN PRESENT THEMSELVES IF THEY ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THEIR ADDICTION AND WITHIN 15 MINUTES, THEY WILL HAVE THEIR VITALS CHECKED. THEY WILL MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT IN ANY IMMEDIATE DANGER, AND THEN THEY ARE CONNECTED WITH A RECOVERY COACH WHO CAN HELP THEM NAVIGATE WHAT IS SOMETIMES A CUMBERSOME SYSTEM BUT HELP THEM NAVIGATE SO THAT THEY CAN GET INTO THE RIGHT LEVEL WITH A DIAGNOSIS, OF WHAT LEVEL OF CARE THEY NEED. AND THEN GET INTO THAT LEVEL OF CARE IMMEDIATELY. >>Reporter: WE SPOKE TO THE ACTING EMS CHIEF, ZACHARY KENYON WHO MONITORED — MODELED THE PROGRAM AFTER A SIMILAR ONE INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE. IN JUST A YEAR AND A HALF, THAT PROGRAM HAD OVER 5000 PEOPLE COME TO THE STATIONS SEEKING HELP. HE HOPES OVER TIME, PROVIDENCE WILL HAVE SIMILAR RESULTS. >>IF YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, FALL RIVER, WOONSOCKET, COME TO US FOR HELP. WE ANTICIPATE AVERAGING 4 TO 5 PEOPLE EVERY 24 HOURS. THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE. YOU WALK OUT OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR, WE ARE HELPING 1600, 1700 OR MAYBE MORE CHANGE THEIR LIVES. THAT’S WHAT WE WANT. WE JUST WANT THE ABILITY TO CONNECT WITH SOMEONE THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND PUT YOU ON A DIFFERENT PATH. >>Reporter: HE IS A 16 YEAR EMS VETERAN AND HAS ADMINISTERED NALOXONE AT LEAST SIX — 1600 TIMES. >>YOU TRY TO GET THE PERSON TO UNDERSTAND THE RECOVERY OR THAT THEY NEED TO CHANGE THEIR HABITS OR THEY ARE GOING TO DIE. YOU CAN TELL THEM STRAIGHT OUT ú0D Ñ YOU ARE DOING THE SAME THING WITH THE EXACT S THAN 24 SAME P THAT’S MENTALLY TOUGH ry;HOURS RESPONDERS.E IT’S HARD TO DO THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND YOU FILE FRUSTRATION, NOT ONLY FOR I GUESS, YOU WOULD SAY A SYSTEM, BUT YOU FEEL FRUSTRATION FOR THAT PERSON BECAUSE AS FIREFIGHTERS WE ARE DESIGNED TO HELP PEOPLE AND YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE I HAVE SAVED THIS PERSON’S LIFE BUT DID I HELP THEM? >>Reporter: KENYON SAYS WHILE THERE ARE MANY TIMES HE BELIEVES THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED THERE ARE GLIMMERS OF HOPE. >> I HAVE SEEN GLIMMERS OF HOPE FOR PEOPLE WITH OTHER ISSUES. COME UP TO ME. OUT OF THE BLUE AND SAY HEY, GUESS WHAT? YOU KNOW I JUST GOT MY FIRST APARTMENT. THIS IS A GENTLEMAN THAT’S FORTYSOMETHING OLD WHO HAD AN ALCOHOL ISSUE WHO WAS NOW VOLUNTEERING AT ONE OF THE HOMELESS SHELTERS WE BRING OTHER PEOPLE TO. JUST SAID I GOT MY FIRST APARTMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. I JUST PAID MY OWN RENT. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. >>Reporter: IT’S PRETTY BIG. >>YEAH. >>RIGHT? >>YEAH. >>Reporter: THE COLLABORATION AND HARD WORK JUST MIGHT BE PAYING OFF. IN 2017, FOLLOWING YEARS OF STEADY INCREASES, ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE DEATHS IN RHODE ISLAND DG1QUNED.7múf♪?÷T3&Y9FKF#f YEAR, DOWN FROM 336 IN 2017. WHICH IS ABOUT A 4% DECREASE. WHILE THOSE NUMBERS ARE ENCOURAGING, MORE WORK STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE. THERE ARE TWO PIECES OF LEGISLATION BEING CONSIDERED THIS YEAR THAT MANY HOPE WILL KEEP THE BALL ROLLING. ONE ADDRESSES THE SOARING DEATHS DUE TO FENTANYL. >>WE DO HAVE A TASK FORCE IN THE COMMUNITY BUT IT HADN’T BEEN SPREAD WIDE ENOUGH FOR THE IMPACT. >>Reporter: THE OTHER PIECE OF LEGISLATION IS MORE CONTROVERSIAL, AN INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT FOR 72 HOURS BUT THERE ARE LEGAL BARRIERS TO THAT, AS WELL. MILLER SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO INCORPORATE REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET BEFORE COMMITTING SOMEONE SUCH AS A PERSON’S HISTORY OF OVERDOSE AND THE NUMBER OF SAVES BY NARCAN. BRANDON MARSHALL, A MEMBER OF THE TASK FORCE ISN’T SOLD ON THE IDEA. >>I’M NOT CONVINCED THE HOLD IN AND OF ITSELF IS LIKELY TO BE EFFECTIVE. MAYBE IN RARE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON IS THE HANDOFF, THE REFERRAL PROCESS FROM HOSPITAL BACK TO COMMUNITY. I THINK THAT IS WHERE WE ARE LIKELY TO SEE A BIGGER IMPACT. >>Reporter: AND BACK TO LIFE- SAVING NARCAN. THIS INNOVATIVE IDEA IS MUCH LIKE THE DEFIBRILLATOR BOXES YOU SEE IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS. THE BOX PROVIDES A LAYPERSON ACCESS TO THE DRUG IN A PUBLIC SETTING. DOCTOR JEFF CAPRERRO HELPS CREATE THE BOXES THANKS TO MINIGRANTS. AS OF 2018, THERE WERE SEVEN BOXES AROUND THE STATE. THERE ARE REQUESTS FOR ANOTHER 48 INCLUDING ORDERS FROM OTHER STATES. >>I THINK IN PLACES LIKE BUSINESSES WHEN THEY START COMING ON BOARD OR MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS, IT’S A STATEMENT WE CARE ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY AND THIS EPIDEMIC. HOPEFULLY, THIS WILL NEVER HAVE TO BE USED BUT IF IT IS, WE SAVE SOMEBODY ON OUR PREMISES. >>Reporter: SAVING LIVES AND GETTING PEOPLE INTO RECOVERY IS THE GOAL OF THOSE LOOKING TO COMBAT THE EPIDEMIC THAT CAN ALONE ISN’T GOING TO DO THAT. ACCESS TO CARE IS KEY, BUT MANY PRIMARY CARE OFFICE VISITS. AND IT WILL NO LONGER REQUIRE PRIOR APPROVAL FOR ANY IN NETWORK SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. IN THE END, IT COMES DOWN TO COMMUNITIES COMING TOGETHER TO FIND SOLUTIONS THAT CAN PROVIDE HOPE AND OPTIMISM TO THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH OPIOID USE DISORDER. >>I’M BACK AT IT. I’M HERE AND I HAVE A REASON TO WAKE UP EVERY DAY. ACTUALLY COMMIT MYSELF. >>11 YEARS AGO, IT WAS NOT OF THOSE. I AM STILL GRATEFUL TO SEE THIS. IT’S TAKEN A LOT OF LIVES TO BRING THIS TO THE SURFACE. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN THERE. >>THIS AFFECTS EVERYBODY SO THEY ARE GOING TO WATCH AND THINK ABOUT THE PERSON INTO THEIR LIFE GOING THROUGH THIS RIGHT NOW AND I WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO KNOW THERE IS LIFE AFTER ADDICTION AND THAT RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE. >>>FOR ALMOST 80 YEARS, BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHEILD OF RHODE ISLAND HAS BEEN PROUD TO PARTNER WITH COIT

50 comments

  1. I liked it better during the “ crisis” now major surgery gets you 10 -5 mg codeine that should work. These doctors are so scared now they can’t do their job.being addicted sucks , detoxing sucks, but so does surgery especially now

  2. The pharmaceutical companies got half the population addicted to these opiates & now want to villainize people with actual medical conditions when it is a known fact that if you stop taking these meds suddenly the withdrawl can actually kill certain people and they could care less now that their billions have been made…

  3. Um, if he was trying to give narcan to a guy who was awake and aware and able to reach out to try and stop it, he probably didn't need narcan. This emergency responder probably doesn't realize that narcan cause something called "percipitated withdrawal", which basically means that narcan causes your body to INSTANTLY detox fully from all the opiates bound to receptors that typically takes 3-7 days to happen naturally. It also means that the totality of severe pain, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting that occurs over 3-7 days in normal detox is all crammed into about 30 minutes when they get narcan. If you think quitting opiates is painful normally, the pain involved in narcan enduced instant detox is something people who haven't felt it couldn't possibly imagine. Picture knives slicing your stomach open and getting dragged behind horses with your intestines as the rope. Then multiply that by 10. It's close to that. ANYONE would go and use as soon as they could having to deal with that. People talk about narcan like it jus magically wakes you up, but it actually turns a 7day detox into a 5 minutes detox.

  4. Just like a typical mother – make her son's drug addiction all about her. And of course she snoops around, why give your kids privacy. Rehab is a TOTAL waste of time and more so a complete waste of money. Of course they relapsed a lot after rehab – rehab gives you NOTHING you can't give yourself. Rehab is about as effective as jail but waaaaay more money. This dude stayed clean once HE finally decided he didn't want it anymore. That's the only way it works.

  5. FYI – their son who they said thought he was buying heroin probably knew it was just fentanyl and was probably happy since it was probably stronger than super weak heroin. There is not much actual heroin around. I'm sure the fentanyl he got was just a little sprinkled into corn starch. It's not like someone sold him pure fentanyl. But if they did he'd be happy since it would last longer and cost him less per day to stay well. But his parents think that just the fact it was fentanyl was why he died. I'm sure all the other times he did "heroin" he was getting fentanyl, and pissed when it wasn't Fent.

  6. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Why aren't the police locking up all opioid dealers and users like they did during the crack epidemic? Houston we have a problem opioid addiction has come to the suburbs.

  7. All of this compassion empathy and understanding for junkies when they are white is funny and disgustingly hypocritical . They are not degenerate criminals who need to be thrown in jail…they are victims of someone else's doing. They are not responsible for setting up legalized drug cartels driven by profit and greed in their own communities. They are not responsible for being mentally weak and having addictive privilege based personalities. They are victims. It's everyone's fault but theirs. And now the whole world should feel sorry for them for something they have done to themselves with absolutely no victimization from anyone outside of their community. Well sorry it's not happening. Everyone knows this is the white Community reaping what they've sown for so many centuries. And the funny thing the compassion and empathy and coddling that they are using as an approach to fix the problem is only making it worse and hastening the extinction of white people. The best thing for them would be if they actually started treating white junkies like they treated junkies from every other community so maybe they would at least have a chance of not having access to their addictive deathstyles. As it is now, the white Community is rehabbing and cuddling themselves into Extinction. LOL

  8. Put all these things in place isn't going to help at all. The Most High is at work here. Back in the early to late 80's the face of crack cocaine was a brown face and the remedy was to lock them up and throw away the key. Fast forward this day and age the the opiods epidemic is a red face. I call you red because you're not white, also that what you are called in the bible. You evil red people are under judgement and it will only get worse. Low child births, suicides up 60%, heroine & opioids & meth, Cancer, deaths of despair, abortions, the red woman is the fastest growing in incarceration, lung disease, Mass shootings up, the red woman having babies outside her demographic. This is all real but the bible states that "ESAU IS THE END OF THE WORLD AND JACOB IS THE BEGINNING"……………u folks are outta here and I see it everyday. But think about it, you folks has been the cancer on earth since the beginning.

  9. Off-topic, perhaps, but in Europe the fire service exists essentially to put out fires. It's interesting that US fire fighters have got for themselves this huge other humanitarian/health role. Love to know how that came about (here we have completely free healthcare)

  10. Im in Australia and the problem with prescription drugs is terrible, i completely agree on that! But for people like my mum who has scoliosis and spondylitis of the spine, there is nothing they can do for her except pain management! She also needs a knee replacement and she is 74!! Her Dr will only give her Targin 10mg slow release, (same as Oxy) to be taken twice a day and the Drs still go on about how it's addictive and not good for her! I'm like, shes 74 with an incurable back disorder! Who cares if she ends up a bit dependant on it!!! She's not going to shoot up anything!! So I feel bad for the people who really do need it for pain relief. It's MUCH harder to get anything here in Australia than in the States too.

  11. Big pharma wins again! Create the illness and provide the remedy! Unproven alchemy that has been implemented into every angle. Vaccines, toxins and DNA altering, mental health based on opinions with no evidence to substantiate and now being questioned by psychologists and medical experts. Big pharma have taken control of the CDC and has funded and mandated all literature and material taught! Cradle to grave for maximum profits! Modern medicine is a profiting tool, holistic doctors being killed to silence their findings and the truth. They have overseen the poisoning of all food, air and water to ensure loss of vitamins from all. Natural holistic treatments being labeled as unsound yet a hit list has been uncovered targeting anyone that admits to having a cure. Cancer induced by the tetanus shot and is huge revenue that has resulted in many being suicided, met with unexplained deaths. Big pharma is part of the eugenics agenda, partly mind control and has been proven that the mental health meds induce depression and suicidal coupled with the inception of technology.

  12. An amazing video a doctor who truly understands and wants to help not make people ashamed politician open enough to speak out on his addiction this video was super impactful and so amazing to see what some states are doing to help people with this horrific disease. So grateful to be in recovery and that others that rent will hopefully have more resources to get help.

  13. The opioid epidemic started in 1977 when the US banned Nolotil (metamizole), a non-opioid, non-adictive pain reliever. A far from perfect drug, no doubt, but one that does not create an epidemic.

  14. They got setup clinics for them to go in and shoot up but people like me has to live in hell bc of these people they are looking to get high not pain what area of space do you come from

  15. These people are using needles we don't is this.Is this what we are going to do for our pain with our disease we don't get a shoot up clinics

  16. BLAME MEXICANS MOST OPIOIDS TRAFFICKED FROM MEXICO THROUGH USA BORDER WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ROGUE LAW OFFICERS, DEMOCRATS, ILLEGAL HISPANICS, MEXICANS IN USA. ULTIMATELY, ADDICTED MISCREANTS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEMAND OF OPIOIDS. BLAME THEM TOO.

  17. At 13:00 , you can tell this woman really truly did not expect that from her child. Remember every drug user was/is someone’s child. Please respect everyone

  18. So sad that a lot of these comments are race based. Yes we know there is a gravely different approach to addiction by race in the government but the core of addiction is still the same, it sees no color. Remember every addict is someone’s child

  19. who brought the Opiod to America ?? starts with 3 letter Agency,… one of the many ways they keep the sheep dumb down …sad the masses don't wake up this madness!!!

  20. I live in rhodeisland all my life I have 2 brothers one is on methadone the other is still active.we grew up in a upper middle class nice house by the beach nice parents nice everything and it didnt make a diffrence addiction has no barriers.The state and the programs it offers are really good they are 100%trying I give them that.

  21. Breaks my heart to hear so many life's taken by addictions. It breaks my heart more when there was a drug problem in the black and brown communities, no rehab stories only criminals on drugs in the gang neighborhoods. It became a whole different story in different neighborhoods. Some they give the option of recovery and some are still in jail for there addictions. We all come from the same creator, mothers from different walks of life suffer the same. And Please know we have addictions and we have people with crippling pain that have no choice.

  22. when govt/media spend So much time on insignificant problems like the worst epidemic ever (since the last one & until the next one🙄) you can cover up BIG problems you don't want discussed like why on earth medical errors account for #3 cause of death & hundreds of times more deaths than opiates.

  23. Question… WHY would a dealer put FENTANYL into a bag of WEED?! The person who smokes probably has little to zero tolerance to opioids and you're giving them a TIDAL WAVE of them! Anyone who smokes your weed will die… Not good for repeat business.

  24. Hi my name is ALEX AN I HAVE A PROBLEM, sad to say but right now I'm doing HEROIN while I'm watching this I started when I was 27 I'm now 43, I'm here in CHICAGO living the night mare hoping an praying that I to will live the AMERICAN DREAM! GOD BLESS ALL WHO READ THIS AN THOSE WHO DONT, MAY THEY BE BLESS TO… (PLEASE PRAY FOR ME I WANT AN NEED TO STOP)!!!

  25. I have chronic kidney stones, hundreds of them. Stenosis of the neck, artificial hip, mesh stomach, artificial wrist, just broke my pelvis, arm, shoulder, fractured back, urethra stents on each side, infected kidney. Next to no meds just a few days worth, if I can do it so can others. fight the pain, push through it, it gets better your body will learn how to cope.

  26. I know the solution!! But it requires taking money away from the pharmacies. I'm addicted to Hydrocodone because i was in a motorcycle accident. I remember getting norcos before my accident for whatever reason but I would throw them away because I just didn't like them. After my accident, the doctors kept giving me Percocet, I broke one leg and left ankle. I would've been fine with some Tylenol or ibuprofen 800mg, they work just as good, vicodin doesn't completely take away the pain, it only gives you a short high. Don't have people get hooked on pills to begin with. NOBODY really need Opioids unless you have a serious injury. I had a serious injury but I know that Advil would've been ok. Now I can't get off these evil pills, I stopped drinking without a problem and also stopped using other drugs, but these damn pills are hard to stay away from, they are evil.

  27. i find it unreal big pharma is not being held at gunpoint have we as men really just chumped out?…are we that weak as a society? we let these people kill us?…its pathetic

  28. STOP with the myth that fentanyl is in pot!!!! This has never actually happened anywhere ever,it's a popular urban myth started by law enforcement.

  29. Canada has school children accused of ADDS , some fictitious syndrome . So single mothers accept the counsellors verdict and place the children on 10 years of talwin/ ridelin opiates. Children now can no longer fail in Canadian school systems and graduates are now opiate addicted ! Canada has an opiate problem . Why ? Those who had private schooling now must deal with the many zombies the canadian goverment produced. Poor service, poor products are the result but we must tolerate and adapt . Why ?

  30. The opioid crisis is HYSTERIA RUN AMOK! Relief from severe chronic incurable pain is a HUMAN RIGHT! WITH THE CURRENT HYSTERIA, doctors are putting their licenses at risk for doing the right thing, for prescribing opioids!!!!! Pain KILLS people when they are denied significant relief. Opioids can provide significant relief. There is no real substitute. BUT even when a doctor will prescribe an opioid, they limit the dose to a less than satisfactory level of relief. IT IS INSANE! Relief from pain is a human right! The hysteria is promoted by sanctimonious meddlers who have never really been in pain. NO ONE WHO HAS EVER REALLY BEEN IN PAIN WOULD DENY ANOTHER PERSON SUFFICIENT RELIEF FROM PAIN. People who suffer severe chronic incurable pain have two choices in getting relief, get opioids or go for the big sleep.

  31. These drug addicts are morons.
    Some people say this is because they had pain and took pills or some bullshit.
    The majority of these fucking addicts simply 'wanted to try drugs' pain had nothing to do with it.

    Fuck them.

  32. The rest of us are superhuman for resisting the temptation to try heroin. It is so difficult. Everything we've ever heard about it is so great. And peer pressure from highschoolers was so compelling! How have we had such iron will power?

  33. What about cancer patients should they be denied opioids? I don't fucking think so! I've had cancer and that's the worst pain in my fucking life.

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