SOAPBOX by Pete Nielson –
July 26, 2018 – Addressing the growing opioid epidemic in California will require our state elected officials to do more than author bills in Sacramento. While legislation is important, we need leaders to be the voices that draw those suffering with addiction out of darkness and despair and into the light of needed, quality treatment. My organization fights for better treatment and more access, but faces a state Capitol that lacks leadership on the issue and a comprehensive approach to solving it.
We need legislators to become knowledgeable on addiction and its human impact. They need to instinctively consider the role of addiction in mental health issues. Elected officials must hold press conferences and town halls and get out in front of the issue instead of just reacting.