Atty Gen Josh Shapiro

Newsmaker Interviews
Monday, November 13th

PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on fighting the drug crisis with WILK's Sue Henry


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

That your general Josh Shapiro great to be bet. You I am well and I wanna get right into we'll start at the veterans first of course because you're out about. Doing some programs with veterans in northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday and some of this our reach has to do with veterans issues involving addiction. That's that was in that memory championship at April building at Susquehanna Bradford solve it. I have spent some time but that's where we worked for that every single day not just on veterans day. But they have particular need that are unique to their community. Are often times don't have. Help when it comes just substance abuse. Veterans are twice as likely to die from an accidental populate overdosed but not veterans. And this is stunning statistic the number of bets with OP argues disorders actually increased by 65%. Since twenty tents so. We spent a lot of time obviously working on the heroin little Buick crisis but specifically working on the issues that. Veterans are basic connecting them with services that they be providing them in the history is that it there's other areas as well whether. Scams are targeting veterans which is all they yeah. And it is not uptick there that would folks start as well but I would surely. You know specifically looking at the the popular issue in my discussions with last week. Do you have any information Josh as to whether might be this kind of despite among the veteran community. Result the BA. Historically over prescribes. OP now. Think since begun to change their practices but given number of people who got a number Q you've got a lot of veterans current and I think he'd. Medication they need support. Could deal with back pain of bad for a long time alternatives. Were not available. And then third or are the qualified but I I think anyone look what would wreck market. You know veterans are parked on the date they don't wanna ask for help but they don't want to acknowledge that they have Shalit took a knock it. Criticism for its assault it's because. You know of bearer. Training and they'll build resilience of their strength of character and so part of what I'll order conflicted by letting it go bit. It's OK to ask for help and working your order to get should help the chippy. You know and as we wanna work for people or make sure the alternative. Alternatives to opium which would make sure you know that their support groups available wanna make sure they you know their doctors available we're gonna. Understand your angle that better deal with the more response. In a story are written outside of our area today in the Harrisburg patriot. They kick off a series of looking at the addicted places of Pennsylvania. By visiting. Loser and Tony and I think that we both know that loser in county. Proper has really been ravaged by this particular. Addiction issue and I know you do spend a lot of time here Josh how how do you think. That the strategic plan amongst the ads the Paris the theory is is coming together to comment that so we'll understand this might get to a worse before it gets. You have a deuce sides are that was our count in forever mr. GA. And look we had 140. Overdose deaths of the world where the answer count last year twelve ships to. At least 47%. Increase your book for 28. When you look across Pennsylvania. The rural parts it was are accountable parts so thank you. Proportionally speaking are the hardest hit and so you know see you teach. You know laser beam focused all of these communities. In order to. Past suggest it. I think what is clear and well let's talk about every day at practice itchy so this is you need a multi is America so we got we arrest the drug dealers. Submit a significant number of arrests it was turned out. You also need your rest doctors and others who worked authority. Legal prescriptions for illegal use up I think also to make sure you look at the supply chain here. And I think for so many people the supply chain starts where. A pharmaceutical drug oxy or perk cassette. And so we have leading up faster Ball State that station. Into the pharmaceutical industry that have been dispensing the joke do extra well that's going to at all cost. The country and then you also need folks getting treatment. Bell also people and all that alas all bets are coordinate closely with county officials the state officials and others to make sure that. You know we're arresting people would need the arrest dealers or violent or helping get people of the treatment would be buyouts. Last week that you also did something on Allegheny county and dictate your office. It says is first to you and you're. Staff. Actually. Seized an enormous. Amounts of cart fan on I know car fentanyl and in minuscule quantities can be so deadly but Ted yep 750000. Dollars is so what what happened LSU can you talk. A little bit about that for people who might not be familiar with what that is. Yeah it was the first notice seizure of car and all or Pennsylvania and within Allegheny County where Pittsburgh is. Evolve that they'll work this opens with is that charity including the city Pittsburgh at places like. Braddock work where others. Carson goal is you know thousands or how bad Errol. It is quite literally elephant tranquilizer. That's what it's used port when used properly. And that is now making its way into the stream of that we don't commerce. People look like and it is unbelievably potent and dangerous where do everything we can't. To get it off the streets in western Pennsylvanian or northeastern Pennsylvania all across our commonwealth. It's it it doesn't take much to kill somebody with this car technology job. It is you're out there that even your first responders when they lit when they come in contact with that they have to be careful that they are not hurt or killed right. Well I mean we actually we had a spot recently it's faster but the bats well arrow at Philadelphia and we have a lot of our agent came in contact with this oyster. And actually had to beat back given it mr. archer are aux. Because in contact with the along with some pocket police officers. As well it seemed incredibly dangerous our first responders. And so law enforcement so obviously we want to make sure that they secured herself but all of sergeant boxer of all them and we stress every day the proper way to handle this kind of voice it. And the proper way to conduct themselves out field it's incredibly dangerous. Come from not a lot of people say that today it's because of the quantity isn't it literally can be shipped from many where's it coming from outside the country. Is it being manufactured. In the laboratories inside the United States you have a handle on the. A lot of it's coming from outside the United States. It is like China and Mexico. Some of the comes across the border we certainly a border security. In order to shut that down a lot of it is coming across the dark where the your knee Internet based. Sales so we work closely with our federal and state partners to trying to battle that. Talk act and are you having any success in finding them the sources and I'm sure they could be coming from everywhere and it's quite difficult. We we mean look we've. You know significantly increased the number of dealers we corrected. We've arrested over thousand drug dealers start took office in January. That averages out to over three and a half drug dealers that day every school they have an office. And wall you know or what worked hard to get at a that they are still a lot out there order remain vigilant and do everything we can't it's why. On the first one to say you know it's my job without arrest could. On the first one to say that battle owners socket I have fully address this crisis we need all of those other things we discussed before. In order to combat it fully. Current and year office was involved recently in lack wanna count me. With the rest of doctor and a lot of people are taken aback by this I must say that this was actually adapter and one of my family members. Well and and some for mine as well and by all accounts. Was it was a good and conscientious doctor do you know the circumstances. Around to what what happened here that led juror. Staff to press these charges against this individual. What this doctor is one example. A what I talked about for a focus of my administration. On that they can convert cigarette the person is where you take illegal. Prescription drugs like OxyContin. And you diverted for illegal here's. A doctor telling. In illegally or giving it away for a particular paper. I'm not gonna get into the specifics of the case but I can tell you that we're seeing that the optic out of all. And we have focused on is that we've got a B percent increase in the number of cursor over. In the first ten months of 2017. First is the first ten months of August 16 nearly 50%. Increase and so this is something we take. Very very seriously though this different from doctors. Today all broker scribe or prescribing at a rate that we would. You know maybe not recommend it at all or what the medical society the other treaty organization. He hit doctored and serve back that's not what went on what we're all here which criminal behavior. Where these drugs were diverted. I cracked you you've laid out just a lot of the stuff that's going on it seems in very like a very intense pursuit. Com and like I mentioned before I don't think anybody is thinking this will stop. Anytime soon but do you believe that the combination. Of arrests the treatment. The are looking active professionals. In do you believe eventually. They were going to turn the corner in the state because there and I told the audience before you came on there's a woman who. It says it in Arabic where she was forty she died loser and Connie. Her daughter was sixteen and died two weeks ago and when Bill Ayers stuff like that it's so heartbreaking wind would wind do you believe that will see. A little bit of daylight on us. If these dual these are just they're so tragic and that numbers are so old public it's why I've made it. Our top priority batting order they'll feel it epidemic. I try not to get out by airing stories in fact where bombs in that. You know for other sectors. I admire or like quite literally on my arms. Telling me about the law or there was slot up at the bit battle with a picture. It's actually fuels by efforts to fight aids efforts that we work even harder. I guess what I would say the right now who is out. I don't anticipate that numbers. Changing. Job radically the direction here to terms of coming out. What right do you see out there which is confident that as the years go all our work cut out. We're gonna defeat this is a level of awareness coordination cooperation. On force and working together. I'd make it very clear that we gotta coordinate collaborate that are locals that he paddle partners in order to make these cases. And I think that level court patient combined with greater emphasis on treatment. It's gonna help us pick that. I would say that you know those are watching those in Harrisburg. They've got a beginner that's real money is to treat it and they can. Talk all they want about this but you know what I'll lie look at it every day an economic or job any easier. I know not making available on the war fight for it at all as. They're doing at Washington. It time that day you know step up and provides real support treat. I think what they do that we're going to be in a stronger position be quick about it. OK and finally we Knoll that. Medical marijuana and this is starting to a kick in in these phases in the state of Pennsylvania where doctors. Can have prescribed for those who qualify. Is there any reason to look at marijuana and as a potential. I don't. Alternatives. To. Oh feel a pain killers. There are a number of alternatives that are out there broke your particular right now I've been challenging insurance company to change their practically. So that those alternatives are available. There is some medical evidence suggests that medical marijuana but it should all kind of it's it's going to be one of those alternative. It also grammatical you know the production that it is not. Albeit for me to. Question the experts thought that it could provide alternative. And it future responsibly. Then there are certainly some people organized sport is many alternative is possible. Are true popular painkiller. Attorney general Josh Shapiro always great to talk to I'm glad that we have done this discussion thanks for taken so much time today I appreciate it. Always great they would be cured thanks for shining a light on it epidemic it's something it's. How can a lot of all pennsylvanians black white brown rich or. Men women you know it and indeed I am beyond that I could appreciate you taking a few minutes elapsed. I like the war were doing well for highlight the issue so that pennsylvanians can be engaged in this battle what thanks so much.