Reality Check on the Scott County Indiana Drug/HIV Problem

InsideIndianaBusiness.com posted an article on private business wanting to help in the painkiller abuse epidemic. Scott County Indiana came up as example in how one private company wanted to help:

Given Indiana’s high level of painkillers being prescribed, Indianapolis-based AIT Laboratories is aiming to help doctors make prescribing decisions with its new software program called GuideMed. By outsourcing the painkiller monitoring process to a third party, AIT says health care providers can focus on patient care.

Scott County is a poignant illustration of the desperate need for opioid management, where health officials say shared needles among injection drug users—shooting the opioid Opana—are the cause of the HIV outbreak. Earlier in the outbreak, ISDH reported nearly half of the people who were HIV positive live within a half-mile square area. The latest ISDH numbers show 189 people have now tested positive for HIV.

While the premise is noble, in reality it’s futile in the fight against opiate abuse in Scott County Indiana and other parts of the state. The paragraph above leads me into my point. Half of the HIV cases came out of half-mile square area. In law enforcement this known as “foot traffic”. They’re all basic communal users and have drug suppliers. Not just some doctor that needs monitored in prescriptions by a computer software program. I have hard evidence backing me up on this assumption.

In June, law enforcement arrested 4 men in connection with supplying users in Scott County. None was from that area including one being from Georgia. This is because they are getting $160 a pill:

DEA officials say Elkins had traveled to neighboring Scott County — where the outbreak is centered — numerous times over the last eight months to distribute methamphetamine, and that he obtained Opana in Alabama to distribute in Scott County, where the drug is being sold for as much as $160 per pill.

Then in February, a bigger bust happened netting in 10 arrests  with most of the opiates coming out of Indianapolis, Detroit and Louisville:

Ten people were indicted and arrested this week on drug charges in Scott County, Ind., U.S. District Attorney Josh Minkler announced in a release Friday.

Minkler said the county was “targeted by an organization” whose goal it was to “infest” that community with drugs like prescription painkiller Opana and methamphetamine.

Law enforcement officials said Opana typically sells for up to $160 per pill and can be dissolved and injected by up to four people.

The reality is Governor Pence is going to have start releasing the foot soldiers in law enforcement onto the complex opiate drug network around the state. Informants will have to be paid off for ground intelligence, doors kicked in and violent felons put into anxiety mode.

Taking the intellectual approach on drugs just results in more HIV cases.

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