I believe we should do everything we can to help those addicted to drugs. We should never give up on compassion to any human being that is struggling with addiction. Drug addiction is a disease that enters the lives of individuals for many different reasons.

Whatever the cause, addiction wreaks havoc with families and is not easily forgiven or forgotten, often breaking them up. In that sense, I want to see more support given to addicts that want to return to a sober life. That means challenging social stigma and finding avenues other than incarceration for getting addicts into the hands of persons with the tools and training to save them. We have to do this long before drugs can destroy their life or the lives of the people that care about their happiness.

Drug dealers on the other hand are getting away with murder as more of our family members die before their time. The crime of bringing heroin into our state does not fit the punishment. My solution to the opioid crisis would include making the punishment for bringing drugs into the state or dealing them within the state so severe that the risk will not be worth the reward. If drug dealers are carrying around deadly poisons that kill people, why shouldn’t that lead to life sentences or massive fines? Every effort should be made to discourage drug trafficking and drug dealing. Let’s make the punishment fit the murderous crime.

Gary Hopkins


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