Ryan Hampton, Contributor

On Thursday, the three major television networks suspended their daytime programming to broadcast the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. This extraordinary step showed that nothing else was more important, even advertising revenue. It’s safe to say that we are somewhat distracted as a country right now. You can feel the hysteria in the air. The tension is crackling, like static electricity.

But no matter what happens in Washington or how bizarre our national reality may be right now, the greatest health crisis of our time continues to unfold and proliferate. Breaking news may suspend talk shows and soap operas but it has no effect on a drug craving. It can’t keep someone breathing as they gasp their last breath in an overdose. The collateral damage of the circus in Washington is that no real, meaningful progress has been made to develop a unified approach to deal with the addiction crisis—and the cost is lives lost.

Addiction IS A DISEASE!  It’s foolish to take a punitive stance for a disease UNLESS treatment is easily and readily available.  Buprenorphine is an amazing medication to treat the addiction.  Once the DISEASE is treated, THEN consideration regarding consequences of not partaking in readily available/accessible treatment can be addressed

Dr. Raymond Oenbrink