“The opioid epidemic is real and is plaguing western Pennsylvania and this country. Over the past 15 years, substance abuse has taken far too many lives and affected far too many families to not be at the forefront of the political agenda.”
The main contributor to this problem is not the individual who becomes addicted to opioids, but the pharmaceutical industry which has enabled and profited from it. When the opportunity for massive profit presented itself, it was the pharmaceutical industry that took advantage of it by prescribing powerful, expensive and addictive drugs. Because of such careless and reckless behavior, more than 3,000 lives are now being lost annually in Pennsylvania to opioid addiction. As a certified counselor at the Allegheny County Jail, I have witnessed some of the horrible impacts of opioid addiction which affect not just the users but also their families and the community which must deal with the consequences, such as additional and costly incarceration, rehabilitation and crime. In 2016, a new database was launched in Pennsylvania which enables medical doctors and pharmacists to identify potential abuses where individuals could go to multiple doctors for the same pain-killing medicine. This is but one step in helping address and stop such abuse from occurring, but much more needs to be done. As a state representative, I would work with the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community to recognize and address the systemic problems which have resulted in opioid addiction. I would require all doctors and pharmacist to access the new statewide prescription database every time a patient is treated or drugs are dispensed. The databased must be continually updated and monitored to ensure compliance. I would support increased funding for rehabilitation and stiffer penalties for any medical doctor or pharmacist found to be improperly prescribing pain-killing medication.
I know and understand the role of guns and am very sad to see the improper use of them by the criminal element that uses them to the detriment of society.”
As a boy I was fascinated by guns, and learned at a very young age the proper handling and respect for many types of firearms. Through high school, I worked in a sporting goods store and sold rifles, shotguns and accessories, and some of my best memories of my father involve me accompanying him on hunting trips. So I understand responsible gun ownership and the role that it plays in our society. But I also understand the need for people to feel comfortable when sending their children to school or just going about the business of daily living. I do not have a simple solution since the issues revolving around guns are multi-faceted and we need not limit the use or availability by citizens who wish to own and use a gun. It is very sad that although we as the greatest society in the free world we have to contend with the issue of having to “carry a gun for protection.” We pay a great deal in taxes for police and security, something is terribly wrong and out of balance, all lives matter.
“As your State Rep I will be the voice of reason on the 2nd Amendment and work with local and state law enforcement to balance the gun issues for the best interest of District 40.”