(In response to a direct question on her stance on the issue)
“More VLT money should go towards the opioid problem. I will also work with the non-profits in our county (I have been on the board of STEPS for a couple years) and our county can be much more supportive in assisting/bringing those “in the trenches” to the table. I have met with Voices of Hope and have had many conversations with law enforcement officers, and folks dealing with these issues up close and personal. We aren’t doing very much at the moment. Drug Free Cecil is something, but the youth isn’t enough. It’s hard for a child to make good choices if they’re surrounded by adults making poor ones.
Last year STEPS received $5,000 and other non profits that directly impact this issue, received very little as well. Meanwhile, $200,000 goes to a turf field. It’s like leadership is in denial there is a REAL problem.
Working for Congress has shown me that there is a lot of federal funds we can be bringing to Cecil. We have to do both preventative efforts for ALL ages, make sure people post-surgery understand that medications can get them addicted, and also to have responsive efforts for those who get addicted. We have to fight the battle from all fronts. We’ll fight for more state and federal funds, and involve educators, law enforcement, health care professionals, and others to implement solutions that are working in other places. Most importantly- we need to drive more funding to that crisis.
We are certainly lacking in a lot of areas. I am not a subject matter expert- but dumping someone back into the street where they go right back to the same place and same people, then pick up where they left off is not helpful. We have a problem. We can’t ignore it anymore.”