"It is very painful for anyone who's walked through it. See, the thing about this is it knows no party affiliation. It knows no race. It knows no social-economic boundaries. It knows no orientation," Walker told Red Alert Politics.
As a former pastor in a Bible Belt state, the North Carolina lawmaker is used to giving words of encouragement and guiding people in moments of weakness. But after days of meeting with those that are on the front lines of this crisis, the realities of opioid addiction left him at a loss for words.
"Some of the stories and some of the things, I don't know how else to explain it. They're heavy," Walker continued. "It's been emotionally draining."
Since 1999, opioid-related deaths in North Carolina have increased by 800 percent, nationwide drug overdoses now kill more Americans than gun homicides and car crashes combined. Walker spent two days meeting with law enforcement, EMTs, HHS and DEA officials, detention facility officers, recovering addicts, faith-based organizations, and state lawmakers.
"Today, after seeing this, it certainly is something that says we need to be doing as much as possible," he said, following a walkthrough of a North Carolina detention facility.
The trip was initially planned to evaluate the effectiveness of the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act or CARA in North Carolina. But after his first stop to a Greensboro detention center, Walker quickly realized that these legislative responses by Washington are not enough. The Cures Act grants money to states based on the population with substance use disorder and drug overdose deaths. North Carolina was awarded $31 million, and CARA distributes $70 million nationwide to combat the opioid crisis.
"46 percent of those incarcerated are on some kind of drug offense. It really challenged me to think from a perspective: what is it we can do for those both coming in, but also those coming out?" Walker inquired.
And almost every first responder gave him numerous suggestions, all centered around one factor. In nearly every stop on the trip, those at the front lines of this epidemic told the congressman this amount of funding is not enough. In 2014, it was estimated that the opioid outbreak cost the state $2 billion.
"We need to redirect funds to some of the youth prevention, some of the people who are coming out of detox that need long-term support, that impacted me over the last couple days and its something we'll go back and take a look at," he said.
President Trump said that he intended to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency on August 10. Now, months later, the president has still not made a formal declaration. And as the death toll, overdoses, and costs continue to go up astronomically, Washington has remained mostly quiet on the issue. When asked if this was an issue that D.C. takes seriously, or another example of "all talk, no action," Walker responded sharply.
"Is more [funding] needed? Obviously, it looks like there is, but I wouldn't say there is nothing getting done," Walker said.
In addition to requesting more funding and resources, experts made several suggestions for the congressman to take back to Washington. Their main concerns included overprescribing and tracking prescriptions, the lack of support resources addicts have post-incarceration, the scarcity of prevention efforts, additional training for lawmakers, and the use and availability of Naloxone.
Walker took a tour through the Guilford County Detention Center, where members of the staff told the congressman that they are not only seeing more inmates with substance use disorder, but also informed him many of those inmates are women and more often pregnant.
"That's a sad scene of promising lives, created with great skills and giftedness. To see some of those lives that are being ruined, by drug usage, specifically with opioids, that's overwhelming," he said.
To prevent harm to the unborn child, the facility gives pregnant inmates methadone dosages. Methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms but is known to also be addicting and abused. In June, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said nearly 80 percent of men behind bars and almost 100 percent of incarcerated women were convicted of crimes that directly or indirectly involved drugs.
"Overprescribing is a major cause, and there's no support group for them or support services for after they get out of jail," April Hancock, a nurse at the Guilford County Detention Center, told Walker.
In North Carolina alone, medication and drug use accounted for 93 percent of unintentional deaths. State and local officials in roundtable discussions had mixed reviews on the resuscitation drug naloxone. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, saves those who overdose from opioids or heroin by quickly reversing the effects. And while the drug has saved thousands of lives, some expressed concerns that it is being used as a crutch for opioid abusers.
"Has it saved lives? There's no doubt that every one of these department agencies will tell you 'yes it saves lives.' But, you don't want to create a mindset in, in the drug culture, that you can go and do anything, and everybody can be brought back to life because that just isn't the case," Walker said.
One law enforcement official said they have had many instances where someone would overdose in the parking lot at the police headquarters, knowing they would be resuscitated with Naloxone. The drug cost is about $25 per dose and some organizations are handing out Naloxone for free. There were arguments made that all first responders should have access to this medicine, but experts caution against giving Naloxone to everyone in fear of it being abused as well.
"Why do they come to us or the emergency room or the fire department? Because we're 24/7," one law enforcement official said.
First responders also expressed their concern with the lack of resources they have for this crisis. The officer told Walker that when addicts come to the police station, fire station, or hospital, it is still at the cost of about $100 per night to taxpayers. He said the state has the funds because people are already paying the price for this crisis without realizing it, but with more prevention and recovery solutions the money could be put to better use.
In June, the state of North Carolina unanimously passed the Stop Act which allocated $20 million over two years to fight the opioid crisis in the state. That bill puts restrictions on prescribers and mandates that prescriptions be logged in a monitored statewide database even for veterinarians who write controlled substances for pets. Of the $20 million, half was allocated to local treatment and recovery services. Still, between state and federal funds, North Carolina allocates less than one-third of the funds that the opioid crisis cost the state yearly.
"As a former pastor and the people that you get close to and even people in our immediate family, I don't want to call out their names," Walker said following his last stop on his trip where he talked to addicts in recovery at a faith-based half-way house. "But, yes, it is something that moves your heart a great deal because you see the suffering, not just by the victim, but by also the family members who are exhausted financially, spiritually, psychologically and really reached, reached their wits end as far as trying to learn how to be equipped to even handle such an individual who's going through such an addiction, and that's very painful."
Charyssa Parent (@Charyssa_Parent) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a reporter with Red Alert Politics (a sister publication to the Washington Examiner).
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.



“The greatest criminal threat to the daily lives of American citizens are the Mexican drug cartels.”

“Mexican drug cartels are the “other” terrorist threat to America. Militant Islamists have the goal of destroying the United States. Mexican drug cartels are now accomplishing that mission – from within, every day, in virtually every community across this country.” JUDICIALWATCH

October 23, 2017

The other open-borders issue: The opioid crisis

President Trump is set to declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency this week, with a speech Thursday, bringing to the fore a long-simmering problem that is linked to poverty in run-down rust-belt cities and social decay in the absence of jobs.
Axios writes:
The opioid crisis has hit hard in Trump country — rural areas, and economically depressed white communities. For Washington, it's been out of sight, out of mind for too long — and a reminder of the blinders we have in the bubbles, which also delayed recognition of Trump's heartland strength.
Axios notes that the opioid crisis has killed 50,000 Americans, five times the number who died during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
But focus as the press in general is going to do on social travails, Trump probably should be highlighting that the problem started getting bad right about when President Obama opened the borders to non-enforcement in 2009. Not only did the unaccompanied children rush in, so did the drug dealers. Their wares fueled the opioid epidemic, often rolling in from the Texas Gulf Coast, to the highway arteries leading north to Chicago (that place with the Juarez-style murder rates, what a coincidence), and then spread to the depressed Midwest surrrounding it.
The website called DrugAbuse.com's Drug Trafficking Across Borders page has quite a few reputable links showing how the opioid epidemic has a lot to do with the great available supply brought on by Obama's open borders policy.
Data on drug seizures at the U.S. border indicate an alarming volume of trafficking taking place in recent years. Since 2009, heroin seizures at the southwestern border have almost tripled, while meth seizures quintupled through 2014.
The page shows that most trafficking is land-based and the traffic over the northern border, from Canada, while not as bad as Mexican border trafficking, is not insignificant either.  It notes that Arizona, which has a more aggressive seizure policy at its borders, has significantly fewer drug deaths compared to its neighbors. It also notes that as land routes shut down, drug traffickers turn to higher volume and higher risk sea and air routes. All the same, it concludes from its data that there is a significant foreign component to the opioid epidemic, one that comes explicitly from an absence of border enforcement. While Trump will probably focus on the problems of the buyers of these drugs and the need for curing them, there is also the problem of the open-border sellers.
Increased drug trafficking in the U.S. has led to an epidemic level of overdoses, surpassing car accidents and firearms as the leading cause of injury and death among Americans. Drug abuse is ending too many lives, too soon.
According to data from the DEA, the number of drug overdoses has climbed more than 50% in the last decade. Death and injury can be traced back to drug-related violence, overdoses from illicit drug use, accidental deaths as a result of drug abuse and injury or death related to smuggling.
While the production of some drugs takes place within our borders, foreign drug trade into the U.S. is largely responsible for the number of dead or injured. Drug abuse has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and the government allots billions of dollars each year to counter the growing epidemic.
If that isn't an argument for building the wall, what is?
WALL STREET TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: DIE YOUNG… your company pension dies with you!


"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty. 


The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s.

“This study follows reports released over the past several months documenting rising mortality rates among US workers due to drug addiction and suicide, high rates of infant mortality, an overall leveling off of life expectancy, and a growing gap between the life expectancy of the bottom rung of income earners compared to those at the top.”

October 23, 2017

Mexico files a brief against the Texas sanctuary city law

This is about as silly as anything I have seen in years.  Mexico is now on record against SB-4
A Texas law banning sanctuary cities would harm diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico, Mexico argues in a brief submitted to the appeals court reviewing the law.
The brief, filed Thursday with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in New Orleans, says whenever state or local officials act improperly in upholding the sanctuary law, the U.S. federal government would be unable to resolve the problem or prevent similar ones. Thus it runs the risk "that actions of a state or its officials regarding immigration enforcement could irreparably damage U.S. foreign policy interests with respect to a particular country."
Texas' sanctuary law, known as SB 4, may be the toughest in the country. In addition to banning sanctuary cities – jurisdictions that choose not to comply with federal immigration enforcement — it allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest.
And the law seeks to punish local government department heads and elected officials who don't cooperate with federal immigration "detainers" – federal requests to turn over immigrants possibly subject to deportation. Punishment could come in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
Again, very silly and highly hypocritical.  I wonder if there are any sanctuary cities in Mexico for Central American immigrants.
This is the just the latest case of Mexico sticking its nose in U.S. politics.
http://www.americanthinker.com/images/bucket/2014-02/191666_5_.pngBack in 2010, President Felipe Calderón spoke in the U.S. Congress and found time to criticize the Arizona law.  Nobody asked "Sr. Presidente Calderón" about the incredible similarity between the Arizona law and Mexican laws.
As a legal resident in Mexico in the 1980s, I had firsthand experience with all of this.  I recall that my work visa (known then as FM-2) clearly stated that I had to carry identification just in case I had to prove to the authorities that I was in the country legally.  I was also quite clear about "Artículo 33" that forbids foreigners from getting involved in politics.
Don't get me wrong.  I had a wonderful time in Mexico and would recommend the experience to anyone.
However, hearing Mexico get this involved in our immigration politics confirms how dependent on remittances the country is.
We know that billions of dollars are sent south every year by Mexicans here legally and illegally.  This is not healthy for Mexico, as any honest Mexican will tell you!
Last, I have to laugh and remember a Mexican friend who told me: "Somos hipócritas, ¿verdad?" – or loosely translated, "We are hypocrites, no?"
With respect to immigration, the Mexican government is!  It loves to enforce its laws and would never allow a local jurisdiction to shelter an illegal alien from Central America or anywhere else.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

THE LA RAZA PLAN: California’s final surrender to fly the Mexican flag within 4 years.

"The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot."  -- - EXCELSIOR --- national newspaper of Mexico


They claim all of North America for Mexico!



The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s.

“This study follows reports released over the past several months documenting rising mortality rates among US workers due to drug addiction and suicide, high rates of infant mortality, an overall leveling off of life expectancy, and a growing gap between the life expectancy of the bottom rung of income earners compared to those at the top.”






"La Voz de Aztlan has produced a video in honor of the millions of babies that have been born as US citizens to Mexican undocumented parents. These babies are destined to transform America. The nativist CNN reporter Lou Dobbs estimates that there are over 200,000 (dated) "Anchor Babies" born every year whereas George Putnam, a radio reporter, says the figure is closer to 300,000 (dated) . La Voz de Aztlan believes that the number is aproximately 500,000 (dated)  "Anchor Babies" born every year."




''California is going to be a Hispanic state," said Mario Obeldo, former head of MALDEF. "Anyone who does not like it should leave."

And M.E.Ch.A's goal is even more radical: an independent ''Aztlan,'' the collective name this organization  gives to the seven states of the U.S. Southwest – Arizona,  California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah."