Border Control & Treatment for Addiction: Two Senators Discuss How to End Heroin Epidemic
"After high school I worked every day and looked for drugs every night. That was my life for ten years," said Tyler Lybert.
Lybert almost didn't make it; going through six different treatment programs wasn't enough to help him kick his habit.
"They're trying to get a high of feeling better but this drug owns them. They're in a jail that none of us can understand," said Lauri Badura.
At today's hearing Lauri Badura gave the crowd a glimpse into this addiction; her son died of an overdose 77 days after getting clean.
"We spend $25 billion per year on war on drugs; it's a complete failure," said Senator Ron Johnson.
At a hearing today, Senator Johnson says that heroin used to come from South America and Africa.
Now it comes from Mexico and that means it's a lot cheaper. In the 1980's a gram of heroin was about $3,000. It's now just $100.
He says we've got to secure the border and stop the supply.
"Our insatiable desire for drugs is not only causing the crime and broken families, overdoses, broken lives; its putting our nation at risk because its resulting in a porous border," said Johnson.
And while Senator Tammy Baldwin agrees, she wants to focus on treating those in need.
"You heard Tyler talk about; this is something hes going to struggle with for the rest of his life. That's where I want our emphasis to be," said Senator Baldwin.
Because Lauri says the odds are stacked against the addicts.
"Tyler's an anomaly. Not a lot of them make it out. I wish there were a lot of Tyler's. I wish I knew them. I don't," said Lauri.
Senator Johnson is working on a bill that focuses on prescribing opiates. Find more information here: http://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=CC5F9714-9A1A-4B24-AE50-A86D5AAB7F70
Meanwhile, Senator Baldwin is working on a bill to help with emergency funding for overdoses. That information is here: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/press-releases/us-senator-tammy-baldwin-introduces-legislation-to-fight-opioid-addiction-from-prevention-to-recovery