LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Delaware opioid proposal puts onus on ‘righteous’

If you don’t think the Delaware General Assembly is the biggest waste of taxpayer money, you really haven’t been paying attention. These people only indulge us when it’s time for them to get reelected, and even those just seeking office tell us blatant lies that they won’t fulfill. Their only goal in life is to do and say whatever it takes to keep their seat.

This session is marked with just such reactionary efforts. Since the national media has highlighted an issue, they think it’s incumbent to “do something.”

In Delaware’s case, we introduced an “Equal Rights Amendment” bill. Not that every citizen in Delaware and the rest of the nation wasn’t already protected by such inalienable rights, this one was driven by special interest groups who wanted explicit language to reflect their lifestyles.

Then there was the “high capacity magazine” bill. Even its author admitted on these pages that the bill would likely do nothing but “might” in the unforeseen future make life safer for those generations yet unborn.

Though I am partial to any law about guns and creating criminals of honest citizens, perhaps Senate Bill 176 by Sen. Stephanie Hansen is the most egregious, and damaging to our aging population.

Striking the band to the “Big Pharma” group the senator wants to apply a 1 cent per milligram (really 10-20 cents per pill) in a prescription. She says this is done to battle the opioid crisis facing this nation. She claims that the bill would prevent the taxation from being trickled down to patients and that the money would be used in establishing drug treatment programs, reimburse Medicaid, set up insurance programs and those fabled “administrative costs” (Didn’t we hear just that sort of spiel when the slots were brought to Delaware? How is that working out?)

The dear senator seems to have no concept of the difficulties people with chronic pain deal with daily. Most general practitioners shy away from effective pain relief, and instead, send you to another “pain specialist” (two doctors when one would have sufficed). This pain specialist is also shy and insists you take a souped-up aspirin or NSAID instead. Real sufferers have to endure this “cooling down period” and then are given an even stronger NSAID.

Aside from destroying body organs, they do little for the pain. If you are able to endure long enough to get real medicine for the relief, you’re strictly rationed and tested to ensure you aren’t abusing it. If you dare seek another doctor to address your problem, you’re subject to being criminalized as “doc shopping”.

Senator, I hate to break this to you, but the opioid crisis isn’t because some senior citizen with RA, degenerative bone disease, or fibromyalgia is abusing Percocet. This crisis is because it is now cheaper to by a stone of crack cocaine, meth or even heroin than it is to buy Percocet. In the world outside Legislative Hall, it’s much easier to find a drug dealer than it is to find a legitimate gun dealer.

The state is already spending millions of dollars so that all first responders have NARCAN at a cost of $20 to $60 per dose. I have talked to policemen and firemen from Middletown to Delmar and they all report that it is to be expected that they use the NARCAN on the same individual repeated times. One fireman reported that he had treated the same individual twice during on eight-hour shift and both times the victim recovered quickly enough to curse him for “ruining” his high.

Economics 101 (which obviously is no longer taught in schools) tells you that in order to succeed in business you must always pass the costs to the consumer. Writing a silly little sentence in a bill is not going to stop that anymore than banning high-capacity magazines. The righteous will have to pay for it while the scofflaws simply ignore it and go someplace else to get what they want.

This idea is no better that the hallowed DARE program which proved an abject failure. You are not going to ever write a law changing society. Lackadaisical parenting, failure to demand responsibilities and participation trophies are where it begins. Stop trying to blame businesses for the innate flaws inside humanity and stop fleecing honest taxpayers for what you deem as being in their best interests. Try a different approach: Ask us, we’ll tell you.

George Roof

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