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Fight against opioid addiction continues in the ArkLaTex

(Gray tv)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Government leaders are taking action to crack down on drug overdoses across the ArkLaTex, and they are starting with the opioid crisis.

On Wednesday, July 21, Attorney General Jeff Landry and other state attorney generals in the United States announced a $26 billion dollar agreement with three large pharmaceutical distributors that could ultimately help those dealing with opioid addiction.

Over in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed a law to increase penalties for anyone who makes or distributes Fentanyl. The drug contributed to more than 90,000 deaths last year.

“The number of lethal doses that DPS has seized is enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the states of Texas and California combined,” Abbott said.

Dr. Jaya McSharma is the medical director at Hope Recovery. It is a place to help those dealing with addiction.

McSharma worries opioid overdoses will get worse, especially as COVID numbers start to rise.

”Unfortunately north Louisiana is one of the harder hit places in the state that is not an isolated thing. We’re harder hit with an under served population and lack of access to good health. I’m very worried about our area. What I think needs to happen is that seeking help needs to be de-stigmatized,” she said.

Last year there were over 81,000 overdoses in the United States.

Dr. McSharma said the people being most impacted are those above the age of 30.

”It’s a real problem and you probably know someone with an opioid addiction and would never know it because it’s such a secret stigma,” she said.

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