Pasco County is currently number 1 in the state of Florida for Acute Hepatitis B infections. This is because we have an IV drug use problem. As someone that works in the public health sector we know that with that the HIV and Hepatitis C rates will also increase. This is concerning.
We need to start looking at ways to decrease the infections and to work on offering services to the people that have issues with substance abuse. I would like to see Harm Reduction programs offered in Pasco County. These programs work on decreasing the community viral load and have been shown to work on helping get people into recovery. Having an addiction does not make you subhuman, but we treat people with addiction issues like they are.
Addiction is a tough disease. It is something that people will deal with for the rest of their lives. We need to start embracing some of the programs that treat people with compassion and understanding to get people that are ready to stop into care.
A lot of our crimes in Pasco County can be tied to our drug abuse problem. When people have addiction issues they sometimes will resort to criminal behavior to get access to the drugs that they want. We need to start offering compassionate care and treatment for the people with these issues to work on this problem. Working on solutions to this problem will decrease crime and improve the health of our community.