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The Next Chapter In North Carolina's Fight Against The Opioid Crisis

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2018 11:36 am

The Next Chapter In North Carolina's Fight Against The Opioid Crisis

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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September 4, 2018 11:36 am

This week on Family Policy Matters,NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks withDr. Greg Murphy,a State Representative, physician, and surgeon from Greenville, N.C., about the opioid epidemic and what the North Carolina General Assembly is doing to combat it.

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I think about there but it's going to take a communal effort going to do a lot a lot of this is policy with John Weston. Thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. View North Carolinians have been untouched by the widespread devastation that has resulted from the opioid crisis that is plaguing our state and nation presently in North Carolina more accidental deaths recurring from drug overdoses than from automobile accidents and gun related homicides. Our guest today is state representative Greg Murphy who was a physician and surgeon from Greenville, North Carolina representative Murphy has worked tirelessly during the past two legislative sessions to strengthen North Carolina's response to the opioid epidemic facing our state and nation, and he has led the passage of the stop act in 2017 and the hope act earlier this year were grateful to have representative Murphy with us today to discuss this critically important issue from his perspective not only as a physician and a lawmaker but also as a husband and a father representative Murphy walking the family policy matters.

It's great to have you back on the show now represent Murphy opioids are a class of FDA approved drugs that are legal when appropriately prescribed by a physician for pain relief, or some other legitimate purpose.

So why have these drugs wreaked so much havoc on individuals and families across our nation because they felt they evident current equality to pattern and they can actually physically change the brain chemistry of certain individuals and because of that you know a person unknowingly can become addicted to obtain medicine prescribed program altogether for the right reason to relieve pain from fracture a kidney any of the other disorders and unfortunately can become that on the medication itself so you will addiction established risk factors are concerned, who is most likely to be affected by his everybody is susceptible as everyone else to potentially becoming victimized by this addiction think the second point John anyone any pure economic and demographic. Anyone can become addicted to medicate to opioid opioids actually change the brain chemistry and just like diabetes. For example, diabetes is a change in the chemistry of the pancreas requiring people to take insulin, and so that the change in the body organ in the body's function. What happens with opioid addiction and that actually changes the brain chemistry and it makes us crazy.

This particular drug far above anything else, sometimes in life are about eating for about family concern concern. If an all-encompassing true disease. The true disease and we can talk little bit about the stigma of opioid addiction, but that's a major cargo organ have to overcome in testimony of the legislature in his discussions of going on there. In particular, we've heard just amazing stories of the links that individuals will go to to find these drugs to continue to see that addiction and it can be so destructive not only for the individuals who are caught up in the addiction but for other family friends and others who become victimized by this addiction as well because they are the victims of crimes or theft or things of that nature. Now, represent Murphy when we last spoke, the legislature had just past the stop act in 2017. If you would give us a little background on that bill. It's impetus and objectives well back to work primarily on trying to limit the flow of legally prescribed opioid.

I can give you very couple hour lecture on long and short is that position 30 years ago were being blamed for not treating pain well enough drug companies were spotted by creating dreamlike powerful pain pill that at first they very. They claim they were not addicted.

The positions were then subsequently given medication in toto is not addictive, then began prescribing it more and more and more drug company pushed drug and so what we saw is the rise in the early 2000 coming into the 2013 is a calamitous rise in the number of pills prescribed and subsequently more and more addiction occurred and so what we had to do with the stop act was to cut back position prescribing. I look you can only prescribed so many pills for acute pain, and what this is done really and actually nationwide. As we seen a precipitous drop in the number of legally prescribed narcotic for pain and it's not really hurt any individuals because we really were prescribing too many things that the stop act. Did it work to help get the medication out of the home hospice. For example, when people are prescribed narcotics to ease suffering at the end of life.

Oftentimes, in some impact the way there plenty of pills left over. John is required.

Education for those family on how best to turn those pills back in the not sitting on medicine in medicine cabinet for a grandchild or somebody else to abuse really worked work to get medication our money to help community-based treatment such important measures and were so grateful for the work that she did to get the stop act passed earlier this year when presented with nothing with a lot of lawmakers again focus their attention on this crisis through the passage of the hope act, tell us a little bit about the hope act. Also, if you would and how it builds upon the measures that you've already described the were implemented through the stop act. The year before that complement John second chapter of the like to call it of our book writing back.

Worked on legally prescribed medications in the hope act is working to cut down the illegal distribution of legally prescribed medication, but also to cut down the distribution of illegal drugs themselves and in doing so, what were trying to do is help our law enforcement agencies give them better tools to quicker access to criminal records to illegal activity. We have gangs that come in from out-of-state that come in and flood cities with fraudulent prescriptions and their in and out of that city in that city and 24 hours and the present process for law enforcement officers to help investigate and and get arrested in these crimes takes far longer than 24 hours really trying to do is help our law enforcement get a handle on illegal activities to try to again combat. This price is just another angle listening to resource to listen to our radio show online resources him with persuasion in US community now last year represented Murphy. There were four North Carolina cities Wilmington Hickory Jacksonville and Fayetteville were among the top 20 in the nation for opioid abuse has North Carolina's ranking changed at all since the legislature started taking action in this area or do you think it's going to take time for us to to see positive results from the implementation of these bills take time. I've not seen a recent data on blanking, but I do know that.

Unfortunately, despite the effort. The number of overdoses by opioid still continues to climb and a lot of a lot of factors I believe in that.

I believe a lot of factors having to do with the distraction of the family, ease of access of these electric that no the fact that these drug pushers are mixing drug and at such dangerous fashion that it's horrible for the user. So this is not going to be a battle that were going to easily when I'm hopeful that we can turn the tables around in a decade, but it may even take on this for many citizens across our state and across our nation has become very personal issues. Many of us have known for very close to two people who become victimized by this kind of addictions Murphy I know you were motivated to address this issue not only because you are a lawmaker and a physician but also because you are a husband and a father and a compassionate man of faith.

So what can family members and friends who suspect the loved one may be falling into a drug addiction do to help them… I think that's going to be the big K that's going to be the biggest key education education conversation and conversation. There are there are plenty of places that people can go seek help. However, they have to want to do that and that the difficult part. The other party trying to get them have health insurance, a lot of big, big problem with 80% of individuals who come into our emergency department over the don't have any health insurance.

We have to work on those. But a lot of good family very very good family are having their children wiped out by this disease are having to put them in treatment and so it's not being good bad or indifferent nondiscriminatory disease that is going to take God loving God's intervention for us to correct you mentioned earlier about the stigma. Opioid addictions talk about that little bit if you would, and one count of awareness is important for the public to have about this.

While I believe that people have to understand that addiction is a disease not Detroit now. Yes, there are some people that chose to take drugs illicitly without having been hooked on prescription medication and made some poor choices but to be honest with you John. They need our love just as much of anybody else. They need our pity and our help, not our score and for stigma that the people should just gonna quote snap out of it is just totally unrealistic and ignorant of the problem of the disease of addiction and so we have to understand it's going to be a lifelong struggle and it's one that we actually of the community not only the faith community need to assist with the state community because financially it is just draining our state 2016 that opioid price prices, cost this country over $500 billion in treatment and all the other so not only is it a faith problem, but it's also financial problem. So it's just a conversation that we do not need to put down and say that it somebody's fault we need to give these people assistance and help in our prayers. So it seems like we all really do have Alina play in addressing this crisis from reaching out in love and care to those who have been victimized by it, who were battling with addictions and also being responsible, just individuals.

If we have access opioid drugs that have been prescribed to us laying around the house so to speak, to dispose of them properly and make sure that they were not around to be found by individuals who may be battling with this kind of addictions without words of hope and encouragement and suggestion.

Can you offer to our listeners who really take the conversation that we been having to heart. I think there is help out there, but it's going to take a communal effort going to take a lot of love and dedication that this disease is not like urinary tract infection were you treated with an antibiotic and it goes away. This is a life long struggle. Addiction is a lifelong struggle and people have to realize that and they have to be realizing that the person underneath it, not just someone who drug addict at the person and that person just like any other person on our deserving of God's love and mercy and that's what we have to do we have to show God's love and God's mercy just about out of town for this week.

But before we go I want to give you an opportunity letter. Listeners know where they can go to access information that may be helpful as they someone they care about is struggling with an opioid or drug addiction by range of resources are you going to the website of the North Health and Human Services.

They have a very good website that can show certain places where families and individuals can get assistance get involved in recovery program that that's overall like that I can recommend people go to great in the department Health and Human Services website. Dr. Murphy mentioned which is dedicated to the viewing epidemic is www.ncdhhs.goc/opioid – epidemic again. That's – epidemic Greg Murphy. Thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters today are in for your incredibly important work that you're doing not only as a physician and a member of the state legislature, but also is reset as a husband and a father and an involved member of your community in Greenville North Carolina were so grateful for your leadership especially on this issue of tackling the opioid crisis that is plaguing our state and nation. Thank you so much listening to family policy matters production and to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website and see and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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