Council candidate Smith testifies in favor of action on opiate crisis

Pete Smith, the Republican candidate in the 6th Councilmanic District, last week testified during a public hearing of City Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services held at the Harrowgate PAL Center, calling for more to be done about the opiate crisis.

Pete Smith

Smith spoke of how his family has been affected by heroin addiction, suffering from the loss of two cousins, the mother of his grandson as well as the current struggles his family faces with their oldest son.

“I fear the day I may have to tell my grandson that he lost another parent,” he said.

Smith said the city Department of Behavioral Health needs to allow detox for opiate users, arguing that keeping users on methadone only keeps them high and leads to relapses.

“We need to stop putting them on a 30-day carousel, with no end in sight,” Smith said. “We need a comprehensive plan that will focus on a long-term solution that includes harsher penalties for dealers.”

One possible solution Smith offered was intervention through a medical 302 for users who overdose. Additionally, Smith recommended offering therapy for families and especially children. He opposes safe injection sites. ••