This past Thursday in the West Chester Municipal Building, students, parents, educators, and survivors of addiction came together to gain awareness of our growing opiate epidemic. This event, known as Kacie’s Cause, presented various speakers all of whom have been affected by addiction. Kacie’s Cause was founded in March 2013 after Kacie Rumford overdosed on heroine. Her goal was to change the world by making it a better place for everyone and through her cause, her legacy lives on to save others from a devastating addition. Were you aware that Philadelphia and Camden are the top location in our country for trafficking heroine? A representative from the District Attorney’s office in Chester County informed the audience: “The war on drugs has shifted from the corner to our medicine cabinets.” If you had your wisdom teeth removed you were probably prescribed Percocets and most likely didn’t even use half of the bottle. You may have forgotten as these were pushed to the back of your medicine cabinet, the chances are someone will find them and abuse them; it happens everyday.
After months of criticism, the most powerful narcotic will be available: Zohydro. Zohydro or Hydro is the first single-ingredient hydrocodone drug ever approved in the U.S. The FDA passed the new drug even though it has up to five times more hydrocodone than Vicodin. This new pain killer is expected to deepen the drug epidemic in our nation which annually claims 16,000 lives. Hydro became available this past month and already, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts banned the pain killer from his state:
“The use of oxycodone and other narcotic painkillers, often as a route to heroin addiction, has been on the rise for the last few years in Massachusetts. At least 140 people have died from suspected heroin overdoses in communities across the Commonwealth in the last several months, levels previously unseen. From 2000 to 2012, the number of unintentional opiate overdoses increased by 90 percent.”
Kacie’s Cause is with a heavily involved bill to implement the Good Samaritan Law in Pennsylvania which would provide immunity to those involved should paramedics or officers be called for an overdose. A father who lost his son Greg from a heroine overdose spoke and told us if the Good Samaritan law existed, his son might have lived if his friends had called for help. The greatest way to combat this growing epidemic is to no longer look the other way; we must talk about it. If you think someone is abusing a substance, do not stop until they get help; countless former addicts urged the audience this several times. For more information please visit www.kaciescause.com for more information.