What is the role of county government in addressing the growing number of opioid overdoses and opioid abuse?
Schuh: County Government must take an active and aggressive approach to combating opioid abuse and use whatever tools are available to slow and stop this epidemic. We must educate all members of our community about the dangers of opioids and addiction, commit human financial resources to support prevention and treatment programs, we must adjust our laws to protect victims, and we must utilize our legal system to hold those who perpetuate this epidemic accountable. As County Executive, combatting opioid abuse has been my top priority, and our Administration has engaged government agencies, law enforcement and the public, private and non-profit sectors to form partnerships and devise creative solutions to this epidemic. There is not a single solution. Our Administration’s “Not My Child” Program has been a tremendous success in educating parents about the dangers of opioids and has become a model for the State and Country. Our Safe Stations program has been utilized by hundreds of citizens looking to take the first steps to recovery, and additional Crisis Team members have been hired to respond to the increase in demand. We are taking a hard stance against pill mill doctors and have filed a lawsuit against opioid manufactures and over-prescribers to hold them accountable for their role in this epidemic. Fighting this crisis will remain my top priority for the next four years, and I will continue to work with our partners to put pressure on all levels of this epidemic and to expand our prevention efforts and access to treatment.