Complete Preventative Care – Preventative care must be thorough and complete. Focus is presently on “not getting sick”. As vital as that is, preventative care has to help you get healthy and guide you towards healthy living as well. To do this, we need to implement a system whereby your PCP, specialists, nutritionists, physical therapists, dieticians, and fitness experts work together. All of which will be covered by your insurance.
Cannabis-based medicines should replace opiates whenever possible. Their pain-relieving properties are no longer hypothetical nor anecdotal. The National Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering released a landmark report finding conclusive evidence proving its effectiveness in treating chronic pain. Additional research on cannabis has shown promising results as a safe and effective treatment for addiction.
Implementation of better non-opiate options and medications, however, is not enough. I will hold prescribers and pharmaceutical companies responsible, and keep mounting legal pressure against them by working alongside the Attorney General.
Education and law enforcement protocol are also key components. We need to emphasize rehabilitation-over-incarceration as the norm, not the exception. Students must be taught about drug-use not through fear and shame, but through scientific facts and real-world examples.
We must also reform how mental-health issues are addressed. A primary care physician (PCP) should not be the one deciding what anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications a patient should take. Referral to a psychiatrist should be the first line of action. To make this work, we have to increase the number of mental-health professionals on the Cape. I propose anyone residing here who wants to pursue a career in mental healthcare will receive tuition-free education with guaranteed job placement.