Science

Philadelphia Task Force Launched To Fight Against Opioid And Heroin Epidemic

By Ayin Badz , Jan 12, 2017 02:13 AM EST
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City. New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman's office announced Friday that authorities in New York state have made a record drug bust, seizing 33 kilograms of heroin and 2 kilograms of fentanyl. According to the attorney general's office, it is the largest seizure in the 46 year history of New York's Organized Crime Task Force. Twenty-five peopole living in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and New JERSEY have been indicted in connection with the case. (Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mayor Jim Kenney launched his plan Wednesday created a Philadelphia task force to fight opioid epidemic. He is calling all the top experts to come up with a solution to the crisis. This action was brought about by the 800 people who died in drug overdose in 2016. Where 80 percent is opioid related death.

Thousands of people are struggling to fight drug addiction. The Philadelphia task force is created to help. It brings the city's leaders, medical and mental health community tackle the solution to the crisis. Andrew Meinster, 27, applauds the effort. He is now four years clean and addicted to working out not doing drugs anymore.

Meinsters' story is similar to thousands of other stories. He started being dependent on prescribed pain killers and got addicted. He also said that looking for other pills was just easy by just asking the neighborhood. And when he could not afford pain killers anymore, he shifted to a cheaper version which is the heroin. Then he was hooked.

Mayor Kenney said in order to prevent this phase, doctors that are over prescribing will be held accountable. It would be a major effort for his part the mayor added. The Philadelphia task force aims to educate people that pain killers are addictive and could lead to fatality.

 The Philadelphia task force also aims to increase treatment centers and boost the availability of Narcan. Narcan is a medication used to reverse an overdose. Meinster said that he was fortunate for being able to overcome his addiction. He wants to let others know that addiction can be cured.

According to the ABC 6, Meinster said, addicts should commit to themselves in overcoming their addiction and to their own recovery. As they continue to do the right thing, their life will get better. Recovery advocates were the ones who encourage Mwinster to persue his recovery.

According to the NBC 10, The Philadelphia task force will also hold four neighborhood listening sessions for residents to share their ideas and comments on the epidemic. The dates and locations of these sessions have not yet been announced.

Philadelphia task force launched to fight against opioid and heroin epidemic will meeting every two weeks fot the next months then report recommendations to the mayor.

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