Crump says opioid fight will require full support

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 8/18/17

Tenth District Attorney General Steve Crump said that it will take the community, and not just a few, to combat the opioid dilemma in Bradley County.

To do so, he said when announcing the …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Crump says opioid fight will require full support

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL Steve Crump spoke Thursday to the group Bradley County Republican Women about the increase in opioid use in Bradley County. Crump said 16 people have already died from opioid use so far this year, compared to 22 who died all of last year.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL Steve Crump spoke Thursday to the group Bradley County Republican Women about the increase in opioid use in Bradley County. Crump said 16 people have already died from opioid use so far this year, compared to 22 who died all of last year.
Banner photo, ALLEN MINCEY
Posted

Tenth District Attorney General Steve Crump said that it will take the community, and not just a few, to combat the opioid dilemma in Bradley County.

To do so, he said when announcing the creation of an Opioid Drug Task Force that he and his office plan to meet with civic clubs in the area to let members know about the dangers of the opioids and his plans to fight the increase of their abuse. He addressed the organization Bradley County Republican Women about opioid use and abuse.

“This is a neighborhood problem,” the DA said. “We need to work together to stop this problem.”

He said around 1 million people over the past few months have been affected by the deadly narcotic. He added that in Bradley County, 22 residents died from an opioid overdose in 2016. Through seven months of 2017, there have already been 16 overdoses.

“We are on track to nearly double the number of deaths this year,” Crump said. He noted a local high school student — Jace Taylor — died from opioid abuse. Though dealing with a sad issue, Crump did say the recipient of Taylor’s donated heart will be at tonight’s Bradley vs. Farragut football game. Taylor played football for the Bears before his death.

The District Attorney General said his office will be looking at addressing three “legs to the stool,” including increased prosecution of those either possessing or selling opioids, educating the public about the problem of opioid abuse, and treatment for those either abusing the drug or possibly just getting involved with opioids.

For those selling opioids, Crump said “these are people who need to go to prison.” Though he agreed that jails are overcrowded with those serving time, those who sell the drugs need to be incarcerated and away from those who could be customers, and thus, reduce opioid availability.

Crump also said that treatment for those becoming addicted to the drugs need to have medical attention availability.

“This is a public safety issue,” he said, that has to be addressed by the public but also by government.

His presentation to the Republican women’s group fit into the third “leg” of his office and opioid task force addressing the issue: educating the public.

Crump stressed that part of that deals with talking with area school teachers and administrators. He and others who are involved in stemming the opioid use in Bradley County spoke to Bradley County school representatives at Walker Valley High School last week. Crump said he hopes that his group will be able to speak to the Cleveland City Schools in the near future.

“We have to start in middle and high school,” the DA said.

Speaking to clubs like the Republican Women and the presentation to the county schools is a start in letting the public know of the opioid dangers. He plans to meet with other civic clubs in the next few weeks, including a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland next Tuesday.

Crump said he is open to speaking to any group about the issue. To set up a presentation, contact his office.

• In other news, Troy Weathers announced for the first time publicly that the annual Reagan Day dinner will be on Nov. 4 at Cleveland High School. Keynote speaker at the event will be U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

———

Email: allen.mincey@

clevelandbanner.com

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE