Past Features

December 27, 2015

Doing the Job Obama Won't Do -- Again
Arizona fighting for America's children

Gov. Ducey: "It's America's problem. And Arizona is the front door.”
Mary Ann Gwinn / The Seattle Times -- December 27, 2015  
Chronicling America's opiate nightmare
    Every so often I read a work of narrative nonfiction that makes me want to get up and preach: Read this true story! Such is Sam Quinones' astonishing work of reporting and writing, “Dreamland: the True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.”
    “Dreamland” documents how the prescription-opiate epidemic in America intersected with the heroin scourge, as a crackdown on prescription opiates turned people addicted to Vicodin, OxyContin and other opiates toward cheap Mexican heroin.
    It's a story of the American Midwest, where proud manufacturing centers in All-American states like Ohio turned into centers for “pill mills,” clinics where corrupt doctors prescribed Vicodin and OxyContin in bulk quantities. Desperate drug seekers looted a Walmart to pay for their habit, and an entire economy ran on the buying and selling of illegal prescription drugs. [...]
    One of “Dreamland's” strengths is its portrayal of life in Xalisco (to research one of his earlier books, Quinones moved to Mexico and became fluent in Spanish). The heroin dealers of Xalisco fanned out all over America, from Portland to Tennessee, adopting a “home-delivery” model for heroin that spared users the danger of hitting the streets for drugs.

Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey -- November 23, 2015
Governor Doug Ducey's Testimony Before A Special Field Hearing Of the United States Senate Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs Committee
   ...Unless we act --- and act soon --- these cartels, and the poison they're bringing to our communities, aren't going anywhere.
    Let's look at the facts:
From 2010-2014, heroin seizures increased 223% in Arizona. Why? Sadly, because prescription opiate drug abuse often leads to heroin addiction. And that's because heroin's a cheaper, quicker and a more intense high.
In 2015, drug apprehension efforts in Arizona resulted in 5,282 drug-related arrests.
  And arrests for heroin alone increased 76 percent over the past two years – which constitutes the largest rate of heroin arrests in a decade.
Studies have also shown heroin treatment admissions increased approximately 77 percent from 2008 to 2012.