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BamaCoaster
LSU Fan
God's Gulf
Member since Apr 2016
1169 posts

I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
I was appointed by the governor's office to be on an executive committee to discuss ways to combat the rise in opioid addiction/overdoses here in the state.

I am in Montgomery now and we meet tomorrow.

I will discuss why there are so many addicts and so much heroin in our state/country (Mexico + FDA + pain management).

My proposed solutions are:
Kratom
Medical Marijuana
Decriminalized drugs (Portugese model)

as well as what other states are doing:
Oregon: making it more difficult to get scripts by having extra loopholes to jump through
Vermont: increased access to buprenorphine (much better than methadone)
Rhode Island: four part plan of: more treatment, overdose rescue, prevention, and recovery.

I am a big proponent of medical pot and buprenorphine.

Any other suggestions before they laugh me out of the room?




In all seriousness, the governors office contacted me about my "different perspective", so at least they are willing to listen.


An Update on Alabama Council on Opioid Misuse and Addiction (LONG):
We had our first session today in which we all spoke about our backgrounds. I was the only one with a drug policy background which is most likely why I was in a room full of doctors, judges, law enforcement, and bureaucrats.

There are six subcommittees:
Data collection
Prevention/Education
Treatment/Recovery Support
Prescriber/Dispenser Practices
Rescue (First responders)
Law Enforcement


After we were dividing up into the subcommittees (I'm on prevention/education), I stood up and asked about "alternative policies", specifically the Portugal model of decriminalization of all drugs. The Mental Health Commissioner of Alabama, Dr. Perdue, stepped to the microphone and said that "all options are on the table". This does not mean that AL will decriminalize drugs, but this does mean that they are thinking about taking a "health-first" stance when it comes to drug use, rather than a "criminal-first" stance that has been tried for over 40 failed years of drug policy.


Afterwards, several committee members were interested in my decade+ research, and I can promise you that there are people in power that are having a "change of perception" when it comes to drug policy here in Alabama.


Update II:
We met again last week in Montgomery.
The guys leading the committee are Secretary Perdue and Dr. Robert Moon. Both mental health experts.

Interesting fact:
In America, if you are prescribed 30 days worth of opioids, there is a 26% chance that you will be "addicted or have continual use" after a year, and a 13% chance that you will continue to use 3 years after your prescription is ended.

The guy who is finalizing the recommendation is a sociopath named Barry Matson, who is the chairperson of the Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force and the head of the Alabama District Attorney's Association.
Mr Mason gave a speech in which he lauded "today's marijuana", stating that the THC percentages he has come across is 90-95% (which is impossible) and that we are not really fighting a war on drugs in this nation, because if we were, we would go all out. More arrests and resources, more prisons, heavier punishments. He is the guy behind the bill to increase prison sentences from fentanyl. "If you had a pack of Splenda, that amount of fentanyl in a pack of Splenda - that could wipe out an entire gymnasium full of people", he scarily stated.
I regret not standing up, asking him direct and pointed questions, and calling out his bull shite. I have regretted it for the past couple of days. But alas, I sat there is a depressed awe.

I left the committee meeting after his speech received resounding applause. Alabama had an opportunity to show the rest of the country that we are not backwards and to be a model of drug policy reform. We are going to blow it.



This post was edited on 3/17 at 8:45 am


bamarep
Alabama Fan
Monkey Town
Member since Nov 2013
29690 posts
 Online 

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Try getting the US the frick out of the countries they grow the shite and close the southern border stemming it's flow would be a good start.


SECdragonmaster
Auburn Fan
rent free in Arkansas fans heads
Member since Dec 2013
4691 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Build a wall between Mexico and California.


BamaCoaster
LSU Fan
God's Gulf
Member since Apr 2016
1169 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
quote:

Try getting the US the frick out of the countries they grow the shite and close the southern border stemming it's flow would be a good start.



All good and well, but we are focused on Alabama, so we have no control over that.

Mexico is now the world's second leading producer after our CIA began regrowing in Afghanistan. Mexico produces nearly 62 metric tons of heroin grown on over 60,000 acres.

Fun fact: Did you know that the Taliban had nearly eradicated opium in Afghanistan?


td01241
Georgia Fan
Savannah
Member since Nov 2012
12323 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
I was an addict and I'm on methadone. Works for me.


russellvillehog
Arkansas Fan
Member since Apr 2016
4330 posts
 Online 

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
You sir are the smartest person on that board.

Look. Once someone is an addict it is almost impossible to stop. You have to give them some form of relief to get off of them. Some people do not want to do it anymore, but the pain of quitting makes it very difficult. If you give them tools to quit some, not all, will quit.
This post was edited on 1/23 at 6:41 pm


4Ghost
Alabama Fan
Tuscaloosa AL
Member since Sep 2016
1757 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Good Luck! Let us know how it turns out. This issue. Is personal to me. Racked my family, hard!


BamaCoaster
LSU Fan
God's Gulf
Member since Apr 2016
1169 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
quote:

I was an addict and I'm on methadone. Works for me


Have you ever tried kratom or buprenorphine?

Kratom is natural with little side effects, and buprenorphine does not have the litany of side effects methadone does.


el Gaucho
Southern Fan
bawcomville
Member since Dec 2010
29964 posts
 Online 

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Duterte is doing great things for the drug problem in the phillipines

All you gotta do is kill the drug dealers


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115
SpencerRob
USA Fan
Shelbyville, KY
Member since May 2008
237 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Why not more access to Vivitrol? Break the addiction cycle instead of replacing one addiction for another.


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80
Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
Tittleman's Crest
Member since Feb 2009
37257 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Why were you asked, if you don't mind me asking?



Your suggestions look great to me. Agreed 100%.


AU66
Auburn Fan
Northport Al
Member since Sep 2006
2124 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
My wife was on the fentynal patch for pain and wanted off, said the withdrawals were horrible, kratom got her through. Much safer and just as effective as the methadone clinics, thats why every kratom ban is backed by drug rehab clinics


boomertoomer
Member since Dec 2016
451 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
medical marijuana....i have a friend, he is 74 years old and his wife is 75, and his wife has a very severe palsy that causes her to tremble and shake something awful.....this shaking is nonstop and her doctors have tried to treat her, but nothing is doing much good....she has been this way for years and seems to be getting worse....her doctor told her that MM had proven to be effective in reducing the severity of the trembling and shaking, but the problem was that it was not legal in ALA....it ought to be....go for it


td01241
Georgia Fan
Savannah
Member since Nov 2012
12323 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Tried both. Kratom is shite and only certain strains will produce any opiate "like" feelings and in my experience doesn't really attach to the receptors enough to curb withdrawal. Suboxone I also tried but it gave me really bad side effects, it also has a ceiling dose like Kratom.
This post was edited on 1/23 at 6:45 pm


parrothead
Alabama Fan
big salty ham
Member since Mar 2010
2280 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Will you be at the End Heroine march in Birmingham? It was nothing I really ever considered until it got too personal.


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00
Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
Tittleman's Crest
Member since Feb 2009
37257 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
quote:

thats why every kratom ban is backed by drug rehab clinics



Not much pisses me off more than this kind of shite.


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70
Brazos
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2013
7606 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Yep suboxone is a life saver for opiate addicts.


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21
td01241
Georgia Fan
Savannah
Member since Nov 2012
12323 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
Also bruh I've done about every opiate there is. People definitely abuse bupe and it causes withdrawals just like any other.


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40
crazy4lsu
USA Fan
Member since May 2005
19722 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
quote:


My proposed solutions are:
Kratom
Medical Marijuana
Decriminalized drugs (Portugese model)


It would be amazing if Alabama of all places adopted the Portuguese model.

I have a chronic pain injury and I take these little weed mints which don't really get me high and also allow me to function without pain and help me sleep. It has allowed me to avoid taking opiods completely.


BamaCoaster
LSU Fan
God's Gulf
Member since Apr 2016
1169 posts

re: I was appointed to the AL Council on Opiod Misuse and Addiction (UPDATE #2)
quote:

Why were you asked, if you don't mind me asking?


I have a column on al.com that I write once or twice a month about local issues.

I have written about drug policy in the past and last month wrote a column about this task force and begged them to do the right thing.

I got a call from the director of public policy from Bentley's office and he asked me to be on the committee.
"Someone 'high up' had read my column, then read others, and wanted to get my view" he said.

I worked at a think tank in DC for awhile and wrote a white paper on the coming heroin epidemic in 2013.


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