tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EST
we have to have resources directed on the medical side as well. absolutely. holly: glad to hear you say that. >> you used the words medical intervention. what's missing today that was always there in a.a. was when somebody was in an asylum, the doctor would call up the people he knew were in a.a. and bring them in when that person was in the right state of mind to hear someone else's story and connect with them. the same thing with hospitals. and i know there's some legislation in front of the new hampshire assembly. the state legislature right now. one of the things that concerns me is that legislation's all going to be written so only, quote, professionals, what they call counselors, which you know there are going to be people that have titles and getting paid by agencies and that the regular people that have done this for 80 years are going to get excluded out of that and
that's extremely concerning to me. because those -- i know that i went to the first baptist church of jacksonville and i was asked to give my testimony there and a woman came up to me and said my son's in jail. will you go talk to him? he got out of jail. his mother -- i saw his mother lately, which was three years later, says he's never used it again because i knew from reading the big book, i knew how to talk to that person. holly: i'll agree with you, paul. we definitely need to use peers in everything we do. because they have the expertise and the survival skills, quite frankly. but for the tradition of the big book, we want to be respectful of that, and we also need to get people with this experience back to work. without violating the traditions. so recovery coaches are a way to do that. we are now working to get into hospitals to bring people who have lived experience into hospitals.
give them work. give that hope. it's pretty great program. i would invite you to come down and take a look. i do agree. peers are part of the solution. jackie: becky, becky vaughn with the national council for behavior health. becky: thanks. senator cruz, thank you. this is often seems to be a really difficult issue. so i appreciate you wanting to put a focus on it as well as everybody else here. and let me thank those of you who are working in the field and working with people. it sometimes is a very thankless job. i know many of you are here. i have worked with many of the providers here in new hampshire. you guys do a great job in a very tough environment. but in many ways this has got very simple solutions. we have come so far in terms of research and knowledge just like other chronic diseases and we know so much more than bill w.
and dr. bob knew when they got things started for people way back. and that is what the good news is. we now know that this is a brain disease. that it can be prevented. that there are appropriate treatments that can be used to help people. and that when people are in a situation to manage that disease, we can support them so that they can sustain that recovery. and that to me is what is so important like other chronic diseases, we have the brain science. like cancer, we now have assessment tools that we can figure out exactly what is going on, what level of care, what treatment modality will be the best. like hypertension, we now have great medication to help people who need that sort of help in terms of their own disease. there are some great things to help people. we know even like diabetes that some people do get well on their
own. they do learn to manage this on their own. but for those who don't, we have evidence-based treatment modalities that can help that person get to a point where they can manage this chronic disease. to me, that's the good news of what has come out of the research in the last 20 years. the fact that we know so much more in terms of being able to help people. we are not putting them into asylums because we don't understand what's going on. we are actually giving hope. but at the same time when we seem to be able to mobilize and respond to other serious medical crisis, look at the ebola reaction, everybody remembers how many people died from ebola? not very many compared to what's going on with this. so we do know that government has the capacity to mobilize all the stakeholders. you're absolutely right.
not just government but everybody, to address something that is truly an incredible crisis. if we decide that this is the medical issue that it is, why would jessica and i continue to be frustrated it's not being addressed? to me that is the big issue. we know what to do. we have the tools what to do. so the issue is, are we going to do it? and we look to our leaders to make sure that that's going to happen. to me that's where we are and what we need to be focused on. making use of great research. making use of all that we know so that we can help the people, families, and communities that need our help. [applause] jessica: speaking of preventing this disease in the first place, marcia from partnership for drug free kids. marcia: thanks for organizing this and bringing us here today. thank you, senator cruz, for
being here. we are a national organization that aims to reduce adolescent substance abuse by supporting parents and engaging with teens. we know that addiction is a family disease. it's not only the person who is struggling, it's the entire family who is affected by this. but unlike other diseases, there aren't the support structures in place for families as they are trying to help their child recover. as they are trying to help their child get into the treatment we know works, as becky was saying. we also know that 90% of addiction starts in the teenage years. so we need to do a better job of preventing this disease as we are supporting parents who are grappling with this in their own families. prevention is one of those issues that it's sort of like eating your vegetables. people kind of dismiss it and say they'll get to it at another point. but it's critical. and it's the heart of everything. over the past decade federal funding for our prevention
programs nationally have been cut nearly in half. including the programs that meet kids where they spend most of their time, in school and consuming media. so those of us in the prevention field are kind of fighting this with one arm tied behind our back because we don't have the resources we need to make sure we are getting to teens. we are reaching them to let them know that this behavior is dangerous, that it's not a rite of passage, it's a big deal. at the same time at the partnership we are trying to help parents find help for their kids. we provide them with resources online that translate to best science into really tangible, actionable tips and tools. one of the big frustrations that parents have, and a lot of parents that we deal with have lost a child or who have a child who is struggling and having a hard time getting help for them, one of the issues they are angry about is the medical system has
failed them. and it doesn't take their problems seriously. insurance companies aren't covering this treatment the way they are legally obligated to do. and it's a giant problem and it needs to be addressed. unless we are preventing it, giving families the tools they need to help their kids intervene and making sure that there's coverage and there's an adequate response from the medical community, we are not treating this like the disease that it is. if you compare it to another public health problem like heart disease, we realize that heart disease is not just about triple bypass surgery and helping someone when they are in the worst possible moment of crisis. it's really about exercise, healthy eating, making sure every time you go to the doctor they are screening, listening to your heartbeat and checking your blood pressure and making sure they are on top of it. i think we really need to do a better job of really preaching
this in a comprehensive way if we are going to make a difference and stem the tide. [applause] jackie: thank you, marcia. talk about the importance of making sure we have all the key players. we have becky recovery, peer support, and the importance of having our faith-based treatment providers be a part of this discussion at the table. we are so glad ben could join us today. ben: thank you so much for inviting us here. thank you, senator cruz, for being here as well. thank you very much. our industry was started 20 years ago this april in a difficult place called rockford illinois, northwest of chicago. and started by a man who grew up in a good church, went to the christian school, graduated. i tell you after he graduated met some bad things, began to do bad things. i guarantee you that story can be repeated in this area. he said the drinking got harder, the drugging got harder, smoking got harder, doping got harder.
cost of his life, 10 years in the world. he tried the secular programs. they didn't work for him. and he had a car accident, nearly took his life. and the lady that lived in that neighborhood was the only person that lived in that area called 911 and saved his life. took him to the hospital. and they'll begin to work on him. had he a desire in that hospital. i need to go back to church. surely somebody can help me. he told his mom on sunday morning when he got out three weeks later, mom, i'll go to church with you. long pony tail, earrings, he walked into the back of that church. that church head deacon came up and said welcome home, steve. that's what every church ought to do. they put their arms around that young man and he recovered, he's not in recovery, he's recovered.
got absolutely transformed his life. they put that material into a curriculum much like bill wilson did years ago. and this is the new cutting thing on the block. we've got 1,044 churches now across this country that run the r.u. program. 50,000 people come to the r.u. program on a weekly basis, and they are finding recovery that lasts. that recovery is not in a what, it's in a who. his name is jesus christ. we had to figure out this book right here was not a self-help book. this is a got help book. and this is -- get people back to. we also have a residential home in rockford, illinois. i just got the statistic today because this problem of heroin is not just here. we have a men's home, 42 men in our home stayed, 17 are there because of heroin addiction.
28 ladies in our lady's home and there are eight that are there because of heroin. 17 men because of heroin, eight ladies because of heroin. we have local chapters filled with people and i could give you tms from now until two or three days from now of people that absolutely found freedom through jesus christ. there's workers here and pastors here that works. here's what i like about this area. here's what i like what i heard so far today. it's going to take some meekness for us to get this problem solved. paul said, the servant of the lord must not strive but be gentle onto all men. to teach patience in instructing those that oppose themselves. that's who we're trying to help, the people who are opposing themselves. then he says this, if god -- you see, we got to bring god into the picture.
we're made of tricot my of body, soul and spirit. but it's never that way in the scripture. it's always spirit, soul and then body. we much so much emphasis on the physical, we put so much emphasis on the psyche. everything else lines up when you approach it from a spiritual standpoint. it's amazing and that's what we're finding in the r.u. class and the r.u. program. and we're just excited to be here. and here's what the verse says. if god per venture would give them repittance to the acknowledging of the truth. they got to be faced with truth. we got to acknowledge the truth. and when that happens, there's a transformation that begins. amen. and then they may recover themselves. you see, they have to have a part in this too. the addicts got to want it. faith-based isn't for everybody because they don't want it. the ones that do, thank god we
can work with this was like this one and people across this country that says, hey, we'll court order people to you and then we'll put them in jail. we have people right now in our homes that have to be there. there are communities across america that are fwacing the same thing you guys are facing and you can't leave the faith-based alternative out. pull them in. work with them and you will see the same kind of incredible success that we're seeing. i'm talking about 86% success rate. jesus always works. amen. [applause] jessica: now, we have a couple questions for our roundtable. please, some are directed and
please chime in. so first, families are very frustrated with how difficult it has been to navigate the system and get help for their child. what would you say to these families and what steps would you take to ensure there is more support for families who are struggling to find help for their child before it is too late? i'll pass the mic around. becky. becky: no, you're absolutely right. part of the problem is because this has not been treated like the medical issue that it is. i think as we move forward with more and more people having insurance and our new parody regulations that require this to be treated along with mental illness in the same way, we will begin to see better resources. i always tell the story of the mother who saw signs of diabetes in her son. she was a good mother. she had tried to protect him and prevent this and he had made some bad choices in terms of lack of exercise and diet but she recognized that she knew
what to do. she could talk to the doctor about it. there were support groups. there was all kinds of help for her to intervene and take care of her son. unfortunately, on the other side the way things have been, another mother, just as good a mother, who tried to think about prevention of drugs but like as been said here, a lot of times the parents don't have the tools to talk about prevention beyond just say no. so what happens, again, again, this son made some bad choices, ended up with this disease. the mother is beginning to see but doesn't have a support group, doesn't know who to talk to, is embarrassed because many people blame the parents when this happens and so the child does not get the help they need because of the situation. as we move forward, and this is part of everybody's insurance card, whether it's medicaid, whether it's other types of insurance, no matter what it is,
and people begin to realize, oh, this card is good for hypertension, this card is good for addiction and this card is good for mental illness. i think we will begin to see how the system works better, people get the help they need but it will take everybody having the attitude that this is the disease that it is so that people can get the help, so that we reduce the stigma for people getting treatment. and so my goal is that every child is touched by prevention and that treatment is available on demand. appropriate treatment. the good news about treatment is there's not just one way. there's no wrong door. many people do get well in some fabulous faith-based organizations but other people need other types of treatment. and so other people get well from acupuncture. we need to make sure all modalities are available,
on demand when they need it just like it's the case for every other chronic disease. [applause] doug: if i could add one thing to that. just shortly before my daughter passed away, our insurance company actually used the phrase that it wasn't a matter of life and death. so she wasn't covered. we have no way to hold them accountable for that but we didn't know what to do and i'm sure there's a lot of families in new hampshire that are in the same boat that we were not knowing what to do and just running up against a brick wall and i don't know if the insurance companies have the first person there to rebuff you, get you to go away. when you google there's nowhere that tells you, how do you deal with your insurance company when you have a child who's begging for help. >> what we're seeing in a.a. is we're seeing 23 and 24-year-olds who have this insurance now
until they're 26 that have gone through 11 treatment programs and it's almost like they do it to get a rest so they go rest in a treatment program that gets paid for because they are now on their parents' insurance until they're 26. now, a.a. is not a -- we're not user friendly in a sense. by that i mean we believe people have to be left to hit bottom. you have to leave your kids to hit bottom. you have to -- you cannot continue to have your child come home. you cannot continue to support your child. you cannot -- your child will find -- and they can't keep going back through these revolving doors of these treatment programs. that's not helping and we're seeing that. i go to a lot of meetings and i have a gentleman that i'm very close to that was my sponsor for a while. he's been sober for over 30 years. he handles treatment in the greater jacksonville area.
he's the executive director of gateway which is all of our detox, a number of treatment centers and he want going to come up here and couldn't but wanted me to address this issue that you got to let these kids hit bottom. >> [inaudible] >> they got to find a way to get there. >> at the partnership, we realize that when you google this problem you don't get any good answers. so we've developed a lot of tools for parents on our website to help them with the difficult conversations when you find pills in your kid's room, when your child gets arrested, when you're struggling to get your child into treatment. but one of the things we realized is people need to talk to another human being about this and too often because of the stigma, they're not doing that as much as they would with
another disease that would affect their child. and one of the great things about this presidential election is that people are speaking about the very personal toll that addiction has taken on their lives and thank you for the courage to do that and you and your fellow candidates have done amazing work to chip away at the stigma. but one of the things we've done at the partnership is create a toll-free help line for parents. 855-drug-free, where they can talk to a licensed social worker to get concrete ideas where they can turn in their community, write questions to ask. is this treatment program going to be a good fit? do they work with adolescents? etc. we have coaches who have been there and we have a slightly different take on the hitting bottom. we try to help parents love their child through the problem because, you know, i'm a mom and when my daughters have a problem, i want to hold them and i want to bring them close. i don't want to push them away and have them figure this out on
their own. and when a child is struggling with addiction, that's oftentimes the parent's first instinct as well so we help them with the tools to be able to do that effectively in a scientifically proven effective way so that we're helping them come up with different tools and different ways to cope with this. >> i promised the senator i'd get him out of here. he's been here, has more engagements to get to. so if you could excuse him i'd really appreciate it. we kept him longer than -- [applause]
[applause] jessica: does this one work? i just want to thank our roundtable participants. i think this underscores how important it is to look at this as a comprehensive issue and we need to have every single sector engaged and not leave everyone away from this table as we work on this epidemic together. so thank you so much. [applause]
>> nightmare. that's all i can say. it's an absolute nightmare for a family to go through and that's what my family experienced. i'd like to tell you another story briefly. my best friend for 35 years, we had our babies at the same time. she had danny and rosemary. danny, i don't know if anyone knows brockle -- danny was a blond, 6'6", black belt in karate and he got into drugs. danny -- my kids separated during the teenage years. danny got heavily onto drugs, got put into jail, couldn't deal with the oxycontin drug. he dropped. smart, intelligent and the withdrawl from oxycontin killed
him. my son has been through four rehabs. he's been on heroin. he's been on meth. and the only thing i can say is god truly does bless us in many ways because i found out he was on heroin and i basically grabbed my son and went up to oregon in the middle of nowhere and i went through withdrawal with him, which is an incredibly ugly experience for any person, parent. the tv cannot demonstrate the pain and the suffering that you go through when you're going through heroin withdrawal. two days later a bad batch of heroin went through sacramento. you don't hear anything on the television. you don't hear anything on the media. that heroin was through my son's dealer. 17 of his friends dead. and we don't hear enough about it.
it's a stigma. i've been told over and over again, you're just a bad parent. you just didn't know what you were doing. i'm sorry. i led a christian life. my family went to church every sunday, and it had to do with their friends and the fact that i had the pills around and now i represent safer lock. and i am a chief executive officer but i'm the volunteer. i do not get paid. i do everything and i have samples -- saferlockrx.com. i'm all about prevention, preventing those teens from getting those first drugs. i can't tell you about if you just lock it up, your kids are good. they don't want to disappoint you. but you know what, they go there and they take two or three pills at a time because they know that you'll never catch them. you keep it locked up and they're not going to -- and they're not going to take them because they would not want to disappoint you and you're going to save lives. thank you very much. [applause]
jessica: thank you, deborah. i hope you all take a moment to really look at this. this is an advancement that we make sure we are securing or prescription medications. it's a device and an example of our business partners, corporate readers -- leaders coming together to address this epidemic. i wanted to invite to the stage congressman tom rooney and thank him for being with us today. congressman rooney is here on behalf of marco rubio and took the time to be with us and come up from d.c. we are so grateful for your presence here today. [applause] rep. rooney: thank you.
i can't believe that everybody to aeft, from senator cruz congressman from okeechobee, florida, but i am proud to be here to represent marco. he's an old friend of mine, and he wanted me to speak on his behalf today. i'm the lead sponsor of a bill to try to curtail the spread of fentanyl and its reaches in this country. in my district, we have the largest county of fentanyl distribution in the country. he asked me to speak on his behalf. he was in a town hall meeting earlier today speaking about painkiller addition, sentinel, and the like -- addiction, fentanyl, and the like. senator rubio has laid out a two-track problem/solution.
i was listening to the panel before. it comes down to law enforcement and treatment, and what marco talked about is that, with law enforcement, trying to figure out who are the bad guys, whether they be the drug cartels who are trying to supply some of illegally through various channels, whether it's across the borders, or in the case of florida, we saw these pill mills with doctors prescribing copious amounts of painkillers. people were driving from all over the country down to my state. it you go to these pill mills, and you see license plates from all over the country because of how easy it was to get oxycontin and the like in florida. down.cked law enforcement, our attorney general, our legislature went from having the top 10 pill mill
distributors in the country to .aving none there is a role for government, and there is a role for law enforcement in trying to figure out who the bad actors are and how to stop it. marco has talked about this with regard to the legalization of marijuana, differentiating between medical and recreational, and how that may .ome into play he has probably been a little tougher than most when the trend seems to be going towards legalizing recreational marijuana and what implications that could have on the things we are talking about today. the other more important part, one more personal to me, deals with the other half of this issue. .hat is who the victims are treating people who become addicted to painkillers, heroin,
and sentinel not as criminals but as victims, how we are going to get them to help they need. here is where the government has a role and deals in large part with allowing some of the programs that have been very successful to be able to have the adequate funding that they need to be able to address this problem. i'm an appropriator. i sit on a committee which basically dolls out your tax dollars -- doles out your tax dollars to programs like the ones we've heard about all over the country. and you can't just bury your head in the sand and say, well, i'm a conservative and these things will be worked out without the help of the government. if there are -- if there are men and women and children who become addicted to this problem, it affects the entire community. it's a community problem. [applause] and the community has a role in helping. i saw this recently. my son plays football. he's in eighth grade.
he's a quarterback. they won the county championship, i'll just put that plug in there. about halfway through the season he broke his nose and we went to the emergency room. he's 13 years old. and i was a little bit shocked that when we were leaving there the doctor in the e.r. gave us a prescription for percocet and she told me to give this to him. i had back surgery so i know what these things do to you or how they make you feel. i'm just thinking to myself how easy it was for him -- for a broken nose. he's going to have to deal with it and deal with some pain but, you know, eventually like everybody else -- i just don't remember growing up when we go to the emergency room for the things that we go to the emergency room for, my mom or dad giving me a painkiller that was going to alter the way that i felt and the way my brain worked. so certainly there's a lot of responsibility to go around but i think at my level in the -- at
the federal level and even at the state and local levels we need to have a serious conversation, a serious look about what is considered just ok to do. needless to say, i did not fill -- his coach showed up too. he's like, you're not filling that prescription, are you? absolutely not. he's going to take advil. and i know this and this is what i wanted to share with you if i could briefly is my family deals like a lot of families with addiction. and i have six brothers and sisters and three of them have had struggles with painkillers or alcohol to the point where they don't do those things anymore. including my father. so we're like every other american family. where i have siblings that have gone in and out of rehabs, have
been fighting addiction for their whole life, my one brother who i just texted before i came on here today and asked him if it was all right if i used him as an example and he said it's no secret and that's part of the recovery process. he'd been in and out of over 30 rehabs for addiction. and when i think about my children and our children, where does it start? when does that onset, when does that light go on? is it the first percocet that you take? does your body say this is something that i need to live or is it something that just helps with the pain for now and when the prescription runs out i'll be done with it? because if, like with so many people, it happens immediately or within that first prescription. then you're going to have to go get another prescription. and then when you can't and if a doctor says, ok, you're done with the prescriptions and people are addicted, what do they do then? well, they got to go find it from somewhere else and that's when we have, as you all know -- i don't need to preach to the quire here, but that's when -- choir here, but that's when we
get into the illegal part of it, trying to curb it through heroin or illegal painkiller distribution and the like. so i -- i just worry about what is our role at the federal level in trying to change the culture of an e.r. doctor giving a 13-year-old a prescription of percocet to the point where my son, who is 13, could turn into my brother in and out of rehabs 30 times. he didn't want to be there and certainly living the life that he's probably wasted over 30 years of his life because of a -- you know, a drink that he took when he was younger. came home for me to understand that it just took a certain amount of alcohol and a certain amount of painkillers for them and their body to feel like they needed it all the time and not just something you could do casually, occasionally and then
when a prescription runs out or when the party's over you can just stop. and my dad reminds me, just because you're 45 years old doesn't mean he was out of the -- you're out of the woods yet. he had been casually up until my age. this is an ongoing issue. we as republicans and democrats, as politicians, as moms and dads have a responsibility to find out what we can do with that e.r. doctor, who are the bad actors. and that e.r. doctor wasn't doing anything illegal, but it's a cultural, it's a moral and it's -- it's -- as we are in this building, a place of worship a religious obligation that we have as americans to try to solve the problem. and on behalf of marco, i know that part of his new american
century that he talks about, it's not just looking at the bad actors. we can build the wall as high as we can, try to stop the bad things coming in from mexico and elsewhere, but we have to help the victims and not treat them as criminals and shame them into going into the shadows in this next new american century. so i will say just two other things that, you know, we are working on at the federal level and that deals with veterans. i'm the chairman of the caucus for invisible wounds which deals a lot with posttraumatic stress disorder and terminal brain injury. i can't tell you how many veterans come home and they have serious brain injury or other injuries and need probably help at a psychological level or medication that doesn't necessarily reinvolve around pain but guess what, -- revolve
around pain but guess what, a lot of these people are being prescribed painkillers because of mental issues. and that's why you see the rate of veterans committing suicide higher than it's ever been in this country's history. that's a cultural problem and that's something that needs to be addressed as we move forward as a country. and we're trying to do that on our committee. last thing i'll just say is this and, again, i thank you all for staying and listening and hopefully some good comes out of it, but i have been around addicts and alcoholics and people that are addicted my whole life. in my family and my friends, as have you in the audience. and there is one common bond. and i'm a catholic. i know this isn't a catholic church but there is one common
bond that i do see with a lot of people that beat their disease and that is the recognition that there is a higher power and that there is something greater than themselves that's helping them get through their troubles. if i meet somebody that's an addict, they got clean just on their own, i would say that's a very, very small, small minority. most of the people, including my father, who have become clean, almost drive you crazy with not just the 12-step program but their reliance on faith and the fact that god is leading them away from the things they were addicted to. so all these things are important. not least of which is god. so i think that all this is important. i was glad to see and read how many presidential candidates are talking about this issue. especially new hampshire. i know it's hit here especially hard. but this is an issue that's not going away and this is an issue that needs to be addressed now. and so thank you very much for letting me come speak. [applause]
jessica: thank you. we have former state senator eddie edwards here on behalf of dr. ben carson. i'm glad you're able to share us your personal story and experience on the damage addiction can cause to a family and thank you for taking time and staying. eddie: i want to clarify. i'm not a former state senator. i ran and lost. i wish i were a former state senator and won. it was my first election, 2014. it's a pleasure to be here on
behalf of dr. ben carson. but i am also a former police chief. i was a local police chief and was in charge of the state liquor enforcement division for the state. as you know new hampshire does a very good job selling alcohol. it's all over our highways. in fact, we're the only state that has liquor stores on the highways. so my focus, along with dr. ben carson, is several. i've had personal addiction in my family. so from a personal standpoint and from a professional standpoint, i've seen this my entire adult life and childhood. my father died from crack cocaine when i was a young man growing up in atlanta, georgia. my father was a marijuana dealer. he drove tractor-trailers for a living but also sold marijuana on the side. he engaged in crack cocaine usage. ultimately losing his life. my older brother, who's also entered the drug arena, sold
drugs, used drugs, also became a pimp. he is now in prison the second time for murder. first time was attempted murder. so my mother has a son who's a convicted murderer and a son who was a former police chief. we come from the same family, same source. when i entered public service, i entered through the united states military. very proudly served my country and served my state and my local community. [applause] and i have to say, after listening to some of the comments today and being with dr. ben carson, one of the things that we lack in leadership is moral courage. you know and it's very disappointing to say the least that we have people seem to care about those who suffer some
substance abuse, those who suffer from mental illness only at the time when they're running. dr. ben carson, his faith guides him. like most of our faith guides us and so when you realize that you realize you have a moral obligation to your fellow man and in our state of new hampshire, if you talk to the commissioner, ben renn, new hampshire commissioner of prisons. 80% of our population is there for mental health and substance abuse. 85%. we spend over $200 million on our prisons. $200 million in this state here. new hampshire -- you might be surprised to know this, but new hampshire has the fastest growing prison rate in the united states. 8% growth in our prison rate. 8%. and so while i certainly
appreciate law enforcement. it's been my passion, it's been my career. this is a medical, public health issue. it is not a law enforcement issue. and to use a law enforcement tool, the only thing we have in law enforcement is to arrest you and put you in prison. now, there are pieces of legislation being worked on right now and our state is going to spend an enormous amount of money fighting this issue and we'll spend a quite a bit of money enforcing it. i am not advocating taking money away from enforcement but i'm advocating let's do something different. let's put a lot of money into prevention and treatment. putting more money into prison -- and i have to tell you, i visited my brother twice in prison. the first time he got eight years in prison for attempted murder. the second time he got 15 to life.
i don't know any person that's been to prison who said, i'm not going to engage in criminal activity because you move the sentence from 15 years to 30 years. that's just an extended cost onto taxpayers. it's not solving the problem. if we were to put more money into preventing this problem from happening, it would cost us less on the other end. and while we look for the bad guy, who's the bad guy? 90% -- sorry, 75% of all first-time heroin users now started with prescription drugs. the bad guy is not some creepy guy hanging around the corner look my brother and my father. this is a guy or a woman wearing a white robe. why? because the pharmaceutical companies in the late 1980's started promoting drugs directly to consumers before the pharmaceuticals promoted drugs to doctors. your doctor prescribes your medication. now they go directly to consumers. this is all about money. if you look at the amount of money being spent on
advertisement, i think it's close to $4 billion spent on pharmaceutical drugs. we are actually engaged in selling sickness to people. so we think we're going to solve this problem by saying, let's put more cops on the street, more prosecutors and build bigger prisons. that's not going to solve the problem. and meanwhile, we have the doctors who are getting away with this, the pharmaceutical companies are getting away with this. 90% now of heroin users are white. 90%. young white men and women aged 23 average. average age 23. we are just starting to destroy our youth, our children. and shame on us. shame on us for letting people pass legislation that says we need to put more emphasis on arresting people and incarcerating people. i don't think we should let people not, you know, advocate for not holding you accountable for your actions. you should be held accountable for your actions but we should
be smarter about this. i picked up a "life" magazine from 1970. there was a heroin epidemic in new york city, two grams a day, 1970. now what their approach was to solve the issue? let's arrest more people. this is about prevention and treatment. and when people say, let's take away the stigma, most people are embarrassed to say that. most people are embarrassed to say they have a drug addiction, they have a substance abuse problem. i talk about this. this is personal to me. i talk about it because it was my profession and i can tell you as someone who has enforced liquor laws in our state, i was what they call a d.r.e., a drug recognition expert. i trained people to look at recognition. the state liquor commission in this state spends close to $3 million on advertisement. something you have no other choice because -- go to the state to buy it. we spent $3 million on that.
we spent roughly $100,000 on prevention. we reduce our prevention to a commercial once a year around prom and graduation season and a couple posters and the drug -- the dare program, that's not prevention. not when you're up against $4 billion in advertisement. it's not prevention. so it's no wonder we keep having the same problems. i really hope that in our state of new hampshire and with folks like dr. ben carson, i hope we begin to make a difference in our country and we can do it right here in new hampshire because we have a citizen legislature. so you can contact your state senators. you can contact your state representatives and hold them accountable. do something different. spending millions of dollars on the same problem in the same way is wrong. just in 2014 we had an epidemic because young people were overdosing on synthetic marijuana in concord and manchester. we had a chance to change it then and we didn't. in 2015 we have an epidemic of heroin. and we passed more legislation.
in 2014 we passed more legislation in 2015. in 2016, let's do it dimple. thank you, again, for your time. [applause] jessica: thank you everyone for joining us for the roundtable discussion today. we appreciate all the great participation by our panelists and our speakers, for our presidential candidates that were able to stop by today, including senator cruz, surrogates for dr. ben carson, senator rubio and secretary clinton. we're so grateful for all of your time and we will post the videos and information and more info on addictionpolicy.org. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
i'm am voting for bernie sanders because he's honest, and he has a good record, and he cares about the people and wants to make changes. this election is important to participate in because it's such an historic race, and our country has never been more polarized. >> i am participating because this year is going to be historic. other side could give us the first female president. >> as a taxpayer of this country, i'm worried about our growing national debt. coming up on c-span, our road to the white house coverage in new hampshire continues with donald trump in manchester. then jeb bush campaigning with his mother at a town hall in derry. later, governor chris christie meeting with voters in newport. on the next "washington
the new" a history of heckscher primary with adam smith of the university of new hampshire and co-author of "the first primary." then former new hampshire state senator gary lambert on his later, for jeb bush, and former new hampshire state senator byrd: on his support for burt coheners -- on his support for bernie sanders. next, republican candidate donald trump meeting with members of the manchester, new hampshire police department. this is 20 minutes.
donald: this is aaron, right? this is julie, right? see, i know. will you be okay? folks. wow. a very impressive group. best in the state. -- toust want to shape say thank you to officers for being here. when it justified to congress recently, i talked about how law enforcement has had an effect. i talked about the heroin crisis that we are dealing with. mr. trump says he has concerns for what's been going on toward law enforcement international narrative, and he wants to change that narrative. he wants to talk to the guys on the front lines of the heroin crisis we are under. thank you personally.