Editorial: Wicked pills - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Editorial: Wicked pills

(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)

The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

In a heartbreaking story out of Ohio last week, a man and his wife were found dead in their home from an apparent drug-related overdose involving the opioid fentanyl. To make matters worse, these young parents were discovered lifeless by their children. If this tragedy doesn’t highlight the grip that opioids have on our country, I don’t know what does. No parent in their right mind orphans their children.

Although Ohio is ground zero for the opioid epidemic ravaging our country, Alabama is not immune. In 2015 alone, 730 Alabamians died from drug overdoses, many of them perishing after using highly addictive opioids. The fact that Alabamians are dying in such large numbers is inextricably connected to the fact that Alabama leads the nation in opioid prescriptions.

In January of this year, Governor Robert Bentley instructed his task force on opiate abuse to come up with strategies to reduce the number of deaths tied to legal and illegal drugs. The recommended strategies will likely include increased budgeting for drug treatment and mandating doctors to check a national prescription database every time they write a prescription for a controlled substance. We wholeheartedly support both strategies as they will help to provide more treatment opportunities to allow Alabamians to get off these addictive drugs while making sure doctors are more mindful of the prescriptions they are writing.

If you would like to respond to this editorial, email editorials@wbrc.com, or write to:

P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, Alabama 35201

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