Attorney General Promises Stricter Laws Against Opioid Traffickers
On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a talk at the federal courthouse in Tallahassee, FL about the opioid crisis. Sessions stated that he hoped more federal prosecutors would seek the death penalty for those who traffic in large amounts of drugs that cause overdoses.
“These gangs murder people on whims sometimes, deliberately providing drugs that result in deaths. We will not hesitate to bring a death penalty when it’s appropriate.”
The idea is that this would affect the issue of career drug traffickers who provide many people with the opportunity to use and abuse drugs. This came just a few days after President Donald Trump gave his own speech on the subject, stating that big-time traffickers should be executed.
Though some believe this would benefit the county, others do not. Just a few minutes before Sessions’ speech, Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat from West Park, FL called these “outrageous, dictator-style sentences.”
How Does an Opioid Overdose Occur?
An opioid overdose might occur for many reasons. A person may take too much of the drug on purpose because they are trying to die, but in many cases, the individual takes a large dose by accident. This is happening more and more because of street-manufactured fentanyl, which is impure and also 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the signs of an opioid overdose are
- Paleness, clammy skin
- Limpness of the body
- Blue or purple fingernails, lips, tongue, mouth, etc.
- Vomiting, gurgling sounds
- An inability to speak, be woken
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed heartbeat
When a person takes a large dose of opioids, their breathing could slow so much that it completely stops or so that the individual is not able to get in enough air. Because the drug also causes fatigue, the individual won’t be able to gasp for air or sometimes even realize anything is wrong. They may stop breathing without even knowing it.
Getting Help for Opioid Abuse and Addiction
Those who become addicted to opioids are also dependent, which means they will require help for their withdrawal symptoms when they decide it’s time to stop. If you are struggling with an opioid addiction, one of the best ways to start your recovery is with detox.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that detox is the safe management of withdrawal symptoms through medical treatment. Usually, medications like clonidine, methadone, or buprenorphine are used to manage withdrawal.
- Some patients may decide to stay managed on one of the latter two options, which is also known as medication maintenance.
- After detox has ended, the individual must transition into rehab treatment. This is because detox alone is not a treatment for addiction, just for dependence.
People all over the U.S.—and especially in Florida—are suffering from opioid addiction and need help. Now is the time to seek it if you are one of these individuals.