The federal government's usual method of throwing money at the drug problem will certainly not work. Not this time. For one, there's no more money to throw. Secondly, we've already thrown millions of federal dollars at the problem in the form of Operation UNITE. And while that project has removed some dealers from the streets and moved some addicts into treatment, addiction to prescription drugs prevails.
While Operation UNITE, coupled with law enforcement, serve as an axe, we desperately need the precision of a scalpel. And that lies in our communities, because law enforcement simply cannot work without the community to back it up. It won't be until communities finally stand up to the problem once and for all that we can rid ourselves of the increase in crime, the multiple overdoses and the loss of our families. We simply can't afford to keep our heads buried in the sand while dealers down the street and unscrupulous doctors in town continue to dish out pain pills as they would candy.
The flip side of that coin is that we can continue to do nothing, allow another generation of young people to simply fade away to the preponderance of addiction and a ready supply, and hope the continued death and sickness goes away on its own.
The only solution lies with our own understanding and ability to fight back with what we know. And as we continue to receive lip service from Washington, it's a simple choice for those of us in the mountains who are fed up to our necks with the scourge of addiction and those who would prey upon it for profit. But even the simplest choice must have the weight of action behind it.