SICKLERVILLE, N.J. (WTXF) - Hank went to Sicklerville, N.J. to watch the president's speech today with Tony Luke.
Tony said for the large part, he liked what he heard.
“They know where the problem is coming from, they have all of the answers. I just need someone to give me solutions and I think today a lot of his speech gave solutions,” said Tony.
Tony recently lost his son Anthony to an overdose and he's been on a mission ever since to crush the stigma associated with heroin addiction. We watched as Trump called for non-addictive painkillers, the bypass of old laws that prohibit drug treatment in some hospitals and more use of Medicaid money in drug rehab facilities. Tony liked a lot of it but he questioned a program that he said really amounts to a new "Just Say No" campaign.
“You've got to dive into what the root cause is of why people are getting addicted. Because they're self-medicating is what they're doing. So they're self-medicating to forget things that they don't want to cope with. You need to dig into that and that is long-term treatment. That's not 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. That's months of treatment,” said Tony.
Tony's friend Don Lathrop, a recovering addict says the root cause is going to be different for each person, “Whether it's we're trying to suffocate our inner demons or whatever it is, everybody has something individual about it that was a great point, Hank. What I know is for me I needed to listen to someone else so I know I'm not battling this by myself.”
Trump's "public health emergency" declaration fell short of a hinted-at "national emergency," which would have freed up federal money to deal with the opiate crisis. This is a complex problem, a simple solution won't do and it may cost a lot a lot of federal money. Think of it as an investment in ourselves. That's money well spent, right? I'm Hank and that's my take.