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Senator Joe Manchin stepped onto the Senate floor last week to read a letter sent to him by Leigh Ann Wilson, a home caregiver whose 21-year-old daughter, Taylor, died from an opioid overdose last fall.

“Please work quickly to prevent thousands of other Taylors from the same fate,” Manchin read.


That was just the latest of many such letters that Manchin, a Democrat, has read on the Senate floor over the past year. He represents West Virginia, which has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation. And he seeks to amplify the voices of those most affected.

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  • Mr. Manchin,
    Another point we need to look at is the fact that the treatment centers are actually treating the addiction with an addiction. They are replacing the Opiate with another Opiate such as Suboxone. In my research I have found that this particular Opiate was actually created for people that had addiction issues and failed treatments. When this drug actually came out though, the treatment centers actually were using it even on first time addicts. This did not take away the addiction it only replaced it. My wife was one of these types of addicts. She was addicted to a very low caliber pain pill but when she seeked treatment for this addiction they replaced it with Suboxone which was a harsher Opiate than the original she was addicted for. Addicts are actually purchasing this drug on the streets and snorting it for its affects. With Suboxone though, a person can not just be pulled off of it because it can cause further harm. It alters the pain receptors in the brain. With this drug, what should be a one year treatment turns into a lifetime. My wife has been in the program now for 6 years. That’s 6 years of 2 counseling sessions a month and of course the prescription.

    Yes I agree our state has an opiate problem, but I also feel that the treatment centers are not treating the issue properly for the people that seek help. This has not helped the problem, it has only replaced it.

  • Mr. Manchin if marijuana was a gateway drug wouldn’t Colorado and other states with recreational use have a huge drug epidemic. If you look at the statistics and data from states with legal marijuana use (medical & recreational) opioid addiction and overdoses have went down along with crime. Oxford University has started a research program on marijuana. The professor Dr. Ahmed Ahmed who is apart of the research is excited about the early results and the potential marijuana has to treat multiple health issues at once. So let’s stop with marijuana is a gateway drug we all know that’s not true.

  • The War on Drugs didn’t work the first time. Target the pharmaceutical companies. Shut down pill mills. Legalize marijuana instead. And no Joe, marijuana IS NOT a gateway drug. Opioids certainly are.

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