June 04, 2015

Manchin Fighting Drug Menace | The Charleston Gazette

WE KNOW a circuit judge who says privately that he dreads one heartbreaking day each week: It’s the day when welfare workers come to his courtroom and ask him to remove little children from their drug-addicted, unfit parents and their filthy homes. Case after case, the sad process sometimes consumes a whole day in court, he says. Tiny children are the most vulnerable victims.

It’s heart-wrenching to take them from their own homes and struggle to find new ways to care for them.

Thank heaven, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has launched a statewide and national crusade against the tragedy of drug abuse. Joined by police and prosecutors, he’s holding town hall meetings around West Virginia in an effort to find cures for this senseless menace.

“West Virginia is plagued by prescription drug abuse,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show. “It kills more West Virginians than anything else.”

At Huntington, while announcing a three-part strategy against dope, he said: “Every day, our hospitals deal with the effects of drug overdose. Each day, families are being destroyed by prescription drug abuse and other synthetic drugs.”

His plan includes: (1) More police crackdowns on “pill mills” where shady doctors shovel out thousands of painkiller prescriptions, (2) banning dangerous drugs labeled “bath salts” or “plant food,” and (3) ordering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to apply tougher scrutiny before approving highly addictive pain medications.

“With 46 people dying every day from an overdose of prescription drugs across this country,” Manchin said, “it only makes common sense for the FDA to seek the advice of its expert panel and follow its recommendations. ... Too many lives have been lost, too many families have been torn apart, and too many communities have been affected by these potent painkillers.”

It’s tragic that so many young West Virginians fling themselves into the gutter via drug use — wrecking their futures, hurting their families, damaging the whole society. It’s senseless, almost suicidal. Although the problem sometimes seems unsolvable, we hope Sen. Manchin succeeds in reducing this painful curse.

“The problem is not scientifically illiterate kids; it is scientifically illiterate adults. Kids are born curious about the natural world. They are always turning over rocks, jumping with two feet into mud puddles and playing with the tablecloth and fine china.”

By:  Editorial