If we want to stop the opiate/heroin problem we need to change our culture of medicating for every bump and bruise, every sore joint and strained muscle. Every other commercial tells you not to work through your pain, but to buy this or that medication to alleviate it for you.
A decade of methadone isn't uncommon, but successfully completing the program in less than one year is. And that would be all good if the programs had significant results, but these programs are also rife with active heroin use and repeat clientele. Only 3 out of 4 people even complete the programs, and only 1 out of 5 people actually stop doing drugs to the extent that they can claim to be sober after 5 years. To be fair tho, only 87 million dollars a year goes towards these programs.
22.2% of the MA state budget goes to solving the problems associated with substance abuse. That's 8.7 billion out of 40 billion dollars last year, because these people have a disease, while people living in poverty are characterized as just not working hard enough. The rest of the world is told to "pull yourselves up by the bootstraps." Why are heroin addicts given a hug and an opium lollipop? The empirical data says it doesn't work. It needs to end.
We need to stigmatize weakness, and be open and honest about the addicts that hemorrhage 22% of our state budget, when they make a mess someone else has to clean up. We need to be a nation that works through the pain, not a bunch of pussies that pop a pill because we don't feel as good as we think we should.
It's all ass-backwards.