The Opioid Epidemic has claimed family and friends in my own life and we need to address this issue from a medical stand point and treat the addiction humanely. Prison is not the humane way to treat some one with a medical addiction.
Both prescription and black market abuse of opioids have caused a death toll of Tens of Thousands of deaths in the last decades. Abuse of these drugs has not been addressed as an addiction problem. Law enforcement can do little to stem the tide of prescription abuse and truly Pharmaceutical Companies have to be held accountable for marketing and pushing opioids such as oxycotin on the public.
Most of the public probably has not ever heard of the "War Book" Big Pharma used to push marketing for opioids to doctors, insurance companies and hospitals to basically indoctrinate them into being drug dealers themselves. When a strained medical system is presented with an easy fix like a drug, and costs are perceived to be saved there has to be oversight that the drug is not harmful long term.
This was not done with opioids and thousands were addicted and killed by the drugs. Simple Law Enforcement would not have solved the opioid epidemic and prescriptions to opioids should be limited to small increments.
Also treatment should be the norm for anyone addicted to opioids and prison is not a solution for addiction. All drug use should be decriminalized and any non-violent offender incarcerated only for possession should be released from prison. Big Pharma should have to foot the bill for nationwide drug addiction counseling and treatment. The Federal Government has won lawsuits against Big Pharma and that money should have been used for a national drug addiction hotline and treatment options across the United States.