MOULTON, Ala. — The American Society of Medicine said drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. They also said opioid deaths are driving this epidemic.
It's a problem plaguing the nation and one Lawrence County Attorney Paula Bassham said is already knocking at our door. "The greatest threat in Alabama is hydrocodone, lortab, simply prescription drugs," Bassham explained.
Bassham said it starts with an innocent need. "What happens is good people go to work. They work all their life, so they get an injury in their back, neck, or leg and they go to the doctor. They get prescribed hydrocodone and lortab," Bassham said.
She said people with no criminal background can start to spiral out of control. It's something she sees often. "I can look at someone almost and know what their choice of drug is," Bassham said.
Besides being an attorney she is also the Drug Court attorney in Lawrence County. "I represent the people who have plead into the program and or going through the program," Bassham said.
Drug Court was started by the county and is aimed towards first time offenders arrested for illegal use of opioids. She said they get help by going through various programs like Community Corrections. "It counts the same as being incarcerated, but you are actually out in the community and they monitor what you do," Bassham said.
She said offenders get rehab, therapy and much more. If they prove to be successful their charges get dropped. She has seen multiple success stories.
She doesn't have a fool proof solution to stopping the epidemic, but she said she knows it won't end by putting people behind bars.