This week with sadness we have suffered yet another tragic loss to this opiate plague. This week a beautiful young woman Alicia will be memorialized, her family is torn apart.

I as the founder of this group and growing very tired of the loss and carnage this epidemic is causing in our small state of Massachusetts and across the nation. We are losing a generation of kids, kids who have been brought up in loving homes and experimented with something that they had no idea was a monster, that something is OxyContin.

Oxycontin seeped under doorways in America’s homes in the 90’s, in our area 2001 seems to have been “the year” when this plague started to show. Thousands of families were blind sided by this, thousands of kids tried it having no idea it would lead them down the road to Heroin.

In the 5 years Learn to Cope has been in existance the past 12 months have been the worst as far as loss of life.

Since January ALONE of this year and including Alicia’s tragic loss there have been TEN funerals that LTC members will have attened. Most the parents are members of our group, or others are people we know through our kids.

This morning I feel fear for how many more will die? I wonder which one of us will be next having to suffer the tragic loss of our loved one? I wonder how much longer is this going to go on with out something solid being done about the Heroin that saturates our country? It’s not grown in the United States! I wonder how a Pharmaceutical company who plead GUILTY to mismarketing a deadly and highly addictive drug like Oxycontin can get a mere slap on the wrist and go on with business as usual when meanwhile people get addicted to it either by being prescibed it by a doctor for moderate pain or by young people experimenting with it and some end up in jail, why didn’t the executives from this pharm company do any time? The fine they had to pay was pennies to them! Purdue Pharma has made BILLIONS of dollars at the cost of countless human life and families have been destroyed and ripped apart.

Why is the FDA allowing Purdue to continue with business? Terminally ill Cancer patients and patients who suffer from Chronic pain should have a drug to ease their suffering. The problem is Purdue was not honest about the powerful deadly drug with the medical communities and it has now become the modern day plague.

I support a ban on OxyContin to have it REPLACED with something else that is TAMPER PROOF, so that Cancer patients and chronic pain patients can have what they need and so that no more families will have to suffer the loss of a loved one, or suffer the CHRONIC DAILY PAIN of living with watching someone destroy themselves and suffer and die with their hands tied behind their back.

As Senator Tolman has expressed the last few weeks, we have suffered over three thousand losses in our tiny state of Massachusetts to this plague from 2004 to 2007, in that same time period we have lost 74 soldiers from our state since a war on forign soil began, God rest their brave souls. We have a war here on our own soil but it’s silent and our family members are stigmatized and thrown in the gutter as disposable because of the stigma they now face. How much more proof do we need that OxyContin is a killer!

The fact is, adolescents make mistakes no matter how well they have been parented, it happens. We have a serious dilemma n this country.

On the 27th and the 28th of May, I will be at the FDA to support another group Advoates for Prescription Opioid Drug Reform (APODR). Please go to www.banoxycontin.org if you support this cause and again, asking it be REPLACED with something SAFE for patients and youth in this country! it’s time to start demanding change!