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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 25, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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i don't think anybody gains from the complexity of the tax code. while again the decisions of how you do it are the domain of other people, i try to make it clear
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issues taxes are policy that congress and the administration need to deal with. we are prepared to be supportive from the tax administration standpoint and any direction people want to go. many cyber threats and scams out there today. of dollars arens lost and fraudulent tax returns stolen from taxpayers each year and what solutions are the iris looking for? out how much cut out the door is kind of like figuring out what you don't know.
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we estimated slightly over $5 billion was going out with fraudulent returns. ironically, we have been making significant progress since the whole problem exploded in 2010-2012, so the irony is that we make more progress, but at the same time it is a more difficult problem because it is a cumulative. we think, and we won't have the numbers for this year -- we don't even have numbers for last year yet because we have to take a look at all the returns filed -- we think the number is decreasing significantly. even if it is still in the billions, that is a significant problem. about thecerned taxpayer who legitimately filed and then discovered
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somebody has stolen their personal identification information and we can accept their return until we work through the process, so our goal is as much to protect taxpayers as it is the fiscal revenues of the government. they are equally important. place, we nowto 200 well over almost filters in our system that look at every return to see what are and we stopped over 4 million suspicious returns last year. reached outeasons i to the ceos of all the tax preparers, text software developers, payroll providers, in state tax commissioners, was become clears we have to get our arms around the entire system. we don't see taxpayers when they
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are filing. the tax repairs have a line aside on what computer, how long , and how many returns from the computer. there is a lot of important data that we are now collecting with andm the private sector sharing with states. we are also real-time monitoring suspicious patterns of behavior. were not sharing information about particular taxpayers. we are collecting and sharing information about patterns of of informationon we have, but it is important to continue to improve filters and systems and improve on that partnership. partnership demanded that we make it better. jointly with the states
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trying to figure out what are the next steps. our biggest challenge is a need for additional funding. pretty good about responding and reacting, but what we need to do is begin to be able to anticipate more where of a going next, so that is why a last summer we began to talk with our private sector partners. the logical next places for them to go was to hack into an attack preparers. if they can't get data from us, then they can get data from a preparer. we have had incidents and examples of preparers being hacked. as soon as anyone discovers that, the prepare, and in one
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case we had a state, we are able and to discover that they had been hacked, but it meant that we protected all the other taxpayers in that account. we need to be in a position where we can anticipate where people are going next. the reason that criminals wanted transcript application was not because they did not have enough data, they went future copy of last year's returns so that it would look more logical when they filed this year, it would attract better. our computers are getting more sophisticated at picking out the anomalies. as the ip pin stopped returns, the next thought is how do we get the ip pins.
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one of the things are partners brought to our attention had nothing to do with us, but we have been warning private sector companies that one of the most attempts is to go to the head of the payroll department looking like it is from the seo requesting information on employees, and a number of companies have discovered that they have given away information on their employees, thinking it went to the ceo. it is not just an irs problem. it is not just a tax problem. it is the problem with the digital economy, criminals, well-funded, sophisticated. moreed to be more and aggressive about anticipating how we close them down at the next point of interface. irs has had data breaches
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that have been publicly disclosed. have all the data breaches been publicly disclose? of the things we want to be is as transparent as we can. to makeit today we want sure individual taxpayers are aware if there is an issue. there has not been a breach of the iris data system. irs datach of the system. we are attacked over one million times a day. if you got a flash of light everybody some time actor system, it would be a beam of light with no break in it. it is a serious problem we are dealing with here, and we have got more funding from congress, and we need more funding. we have sophisticated criminals masquerading as taxpayers and getting more sophisticated about how they masquerade as a taxpayer to get access to
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particular applications. it does not get them axis into our data system. they are trying to figure out how to get around our filters. we were able to discover those. bot attack where the systems put in place allowed us to determine we have that attack , and you could see it moving from country to country as the attacks continue to come on, so it is an important question. every time we have had one of those problems, we have tried to respond to them quickly and republican. sometimes we get yelled at atause one problem we looked last filing season, but it turned out if you did more analysis, there were another set of taxpayers affected. our position has been that we need to let people know as quickly as we can even though we
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do not know the final numbers. tohave an obligation taxpayers as soon as we have the information to let them know. >> treasury secretary lu has says he wants to limit in versions. do you have any advice for him? advice, wed any would have given it to him by now. the secretary has made it clear that there is a limit as to what they can do. treasury and the secretary have made it clear that we need legislation from the hill. , if are going to deal with the problem effectively, we will have to revise our tax code --it effects corporations effects corporations, virtually everybody. you're either buying, selling, or doing something international , so the treasury has done everything they can. they are still looking at
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another step or two they can take, but to go further we have to have legislation. >> this will be the final question. presidential candidate senator ted cruz has said he would like to abolish the irs. i know you probably don't want to weigh in on the contest, but is that even possible? could one abolish the irs, and what repercussions with that have? is ath that represents frustration with the complexity of the code and how difficult it is for individuals or corporations to work their way through. most people want to be compliant , whether out of fear or viewing it as a fair system and the price of democracy. you makecomplicated it, the less sense it makes. we spent 6 billion hours with individuals filing taxes.
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what constructive uses could those 6 billion hours be used for if it wasn't struggling to the tax code. ? point, andt to the there are proposals all over the place of what to do with the tax taxes, myhat to do a sense has been that the idea of abolishing it is shorthand for we have to fix the tax code. the suggestion has been made filinglat taxes or return on a postcard or one page. somebody still has to read the numbers and make sure they are right and collect additional taxes if the numbers are not quite right. somebody has got to collect those $3.3 trillion. as i said in response to my speech here, if you want to call it something other than the irs and that makes you feel better, that is ok with me. [laughter] >> most of the people talking
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about abolishing the irs or make it simpler, you have to make sure some of the funds. another presidential candidate, donald trump, says he would like to release his tax irsrns but cannot during an audit. do presidential candidates have to wait for an audit to be completed before they release their tax returns? > we take seriously our obligation to protect taxpayer information, their private information, with a name, activity, whatever they are doing with us, it is private and protected by statute. i can't comment on anybody's comments come up to keeley about their own situation. what i have said is that when we are dealing with someone, the tax return is there on position, and they can do what they like with it. i would note that presidents are
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audited every year. anybody running for president or being president can look forward to having their tax returns audited every year. what is the iris doing to remind those million or so people to file returns and claim $1 billion in refunds on the table? >> it's a problem we have every year. if you haven arises a part-time job or don't get paid a lot, you may not have an obligation to file, but many people forget that they had withholding taxes, money was withheld even though they were making a small amount. they are eligible to file and get a refund. there is a three-year statute of weitations, and every year publish the amount that has not go by stateed and showing where all those people are, trying to get people to understand that if they have had
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those funds withheld, they can file three years later. just as you will all file by april 18, or at least an extension, april 18 will be the end of the three-year statute for those people. even if you didn't file, you probably work somewhere where they took taxes out of your pay. >> thank you, sir. some quick announcements. press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. we fight for a free press worldwide. for more information about the , www.visit our website >>.org. on tuesday, the clubs international correspondents committee will host a conference. on ail 1, peter bergen will discuss his new book, the united states of jihad, investigating
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america's homegrown terror. i would like to present our guest with a traditional national press club mug. you earned your bachelors degree at duke, but you received your law degree -- [laughter] >> -- you received your law degree at yield. which team are you rooting for less weekend? >> i thought that yield team has done a great job competing. they obviously played a spectacular game against baylor. i wish them well, but not too well. [laughter] >> i actually cheered for duke. >> thank you, commissioner, for being here. >> my pleasure. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we are adjourned.
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>> a look at our prime time coverage on c-span. wednesday, supreme court oral argument contraception coverage mandate. 8:00 p.m. eastern. 930 p.m., the origins of anti-muslim groups and how perceptions of muslims are shaped in the united states. quick starting monday on c-span, the supreme courses that shaped our history come to life with a c-span series, landmark esses -- cases, explore real-life stories of constitutional dramas behind some of the most significant decisions in american history. >> john marshall said this is
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different, the constitution is a political document, sets a political structures, but also a law. if it is a law, we have the courts to tell what it means. what sets of dred scott apart is that it is the ultimate anti-presidential case. it is exactly what you don't want to do. the supreme court said it should make the decisions. >> landmark cases begins this monday night at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org. are incherry blossoms full bloom in washington dc. here is a look at the u.s. capitol surrounded by the flowering trees. an estimated 1.5 million people will attend the annual national cherry blossoms festival. all of this started because of first lady helen taft. when helen taft became first
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lady in 1909, she addressed having cherry trees planted. the tidal basin was a mess. wherewas a speedway people raised their carriages at a top speed of 15 miles per hour, but there was nothing to draw people or make it a beautiful place for people to gather and enjoy nature. helen wanted to change that. one of the first thing she did when she became first lady was to ask for trees to be planted. they were requested from nurseries in pennsylvania, but the japanese heard about her interest and decided to give 2000 trees to the united states in her honor from the city of tokyo to the city of washington as a gift honoring american support of japan. january,s arrived in 1910. , but thewas shocked trees were older and toll and quite impressive, so it was
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decided -- president taft made the decision they had to be burned. the japanese were very accommodating and understanding and decided to send 3000 trees in 1912, and it is those we still have a few of around the tidal basin. this is the north section of the tidal basin in view of the washington monument, where many of the original trees have been planted. this is where helen taft would have planted the first cherry blossom tree that came with the shipment in 1912. people were enchanted with all things japanese in the late 19th century, architecture, culture, pictures, and it was due to her that the trees are here today. >> that is from c-span's original series first ladies,
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influence and image. you can find out more at c-span.org. student camr's contest, students produce documentaries telling is the issues that they want to discuss. economy, equality, education, and immigration were all top issues. thank you to the students and teachers who completed this year and congratulations to our winners. in april, one of the top 21 entries will air at 6:50 a.m. eastern on c-span. all winning entries are available online at studentcam. .org. >> a discussion about the origin of anti-muslim groups with duke university islamic study center and christopher vail. here is a preview.
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that a smalltoday network of anti-muslim organizations captivated the media, specifically through emotional appeals. organizationse were once peripheral actors within the broader family of organizations trying to shape discourse, they have now raised more than $242 million to mount one of the most significant campaigns to shift american public opinion against islam. i will show you how they have exerted considerable influence on our counterterrorism policy, the recent wave of anti-sharia laws. , howps most disturbingly they have been hard to train our counterterrorism officials. course, occurs in the broader context of the so-called battle for hearts and
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minds that we find ourselves in against isis. as i will show you at the end of my talk, these fringe ideas about these anti-muslim idea is our avid travelers, getting picked up by international media , where they do their most significant harm by tarnishing the reputation of the united states, which was once a paragon for religious freedom and making it seem as though the u.s. is in fact anti-muslim, thereby validating the claim that the u.s. is fundamentally at war with islam. duke university professor christopher bale is the author of a book calledterrified, how anti-muslim fringe organizations became mainstream. more tonight at 9:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the need for horses on the farm began to decline radically
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and the 1930's. the 1930's that they figured out how to make a rubber tire big enough to fit on a tractor. andting in the 1930's 1940's, you had an almost complete replacement of horses as the work animals on farms. and one of my books on horses, i read that in the decade after world war ii, we had something like a horse holocaust, that the horses were no longer needed, and we did not get rid of them in a very pretty way. gordon, professor of economics at northwestern university discusses his book, the rise and fall of american growth, the growth of the american standard of living between 1870-1970 and questions its future. interesting that often s people is the impact of superstorm sandy on the ease
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cousin 2012. that wiped out the 20th century for many people. the elevators no longer worked in new york. the electricity stopped. you couldn't charge her cell phone. you could pump gas into your car because it required electricity to pump the gas. electricity and the internal combustion engine to make modern life possible is something that people take for granted. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> this week on capitol hill, there was a hearing on the heroin use issue in this country. , the directorelli of the office of national drug control policy spoke there. overdoses,ook at the there is a direct correlation between the amount of prescriptions we are giving out and over does deaths. it has been going on for 10
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years. >> what about liability? what about joint liability for the companies and the doctors who push the stuff out there? there has been legal action against purdue pharmaceutical for precisely that reason. they have a role to play, not only in terms of meeting the letter of the law, but also encouraging abuse deterrent formulations. we need to work with the da to go after outline suppliers who are ignoring the law, but you're right. prescription drug monitoring program so physicians can identify people who might be going from doctor to doctor. to reduce the magnitude of the problem, we've got to scale back on the prescribing and identify people who are starting to develop problems. facebook page, tracy
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says, in the small time where i have lived, we have had for thisn overdose deaths winter, all female, three found outside in the cold. high school aged kids are becoming hooked on, not illegal drugs, but legal prescribed medication. this is a shame and it is going on on a much larger scale than most would like to admit. that is tracy on her facebook page. here is how you can put dissipate via the phone lines. if you been impacted by heroin -- if you are a medical itfessional -- all others -- ♪ elijah cummings is the ranking member on the hearing. here is a little bit of what he had to say. people are dying in baltimore, orlando, salt lake city, manchester, and cities all across our nation. ignore thisnger
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public health emergency. moneyss needs to put its where its mouth is and actually help, help fund treatment programs to stop this epidemic in its tracks. drug treatment facilities without adequate funding are like firemen trying to put out a raging inferno without enough water. send aek, leader pelosi letter to speaker ryan to million a vote on $600 in emergency funding to help states address this epidemic before this recess week. our colleague from connecticut has already introduced this bill the senatore, and has been pressing the legislation in the senate.
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town untilnnot leave we take emergency action to increase funding to help states combat this epidemic. we must also fully fund president obama's request for $1.1 billion in 2017. >> an official paper from the national governors association, opioid addiction is one of the most pressing health and safety challenges facing the u.s. today, according to the cdc, prescription for prescription painkillers and heroin are driving one of the deadliest drug epidemics in the nations history, claiming the lives of 78 americans every day. randy is calling in from long beach, california. go ahead. >> hello. i am a long-time viewer and very interested to take about the fact that i learned this from c -span washington journal.
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what i saw on c-span washington journal was a map on the wall showing it at all the areas where they were growing heroin. rate is the heroin what it used to be before we actually got there with our cia and war. i got that from c-span. i'm quoting exactly what happened. ." host: what you think that means? caller: i feared it was starting in europe about two or three years ago it was hitting them pretty bad. the shores of the united states. we have the atlantic ocean dividing us. obviously, there was a two or three year wate. we are getting here, all 50 states from what i understand. host: this is frederick in blakesley, pennsylvania. caller: good morning.
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look, i was raised in brooklyn. in the early to late 60's or early 70's, use of people who overdosed on heroin. the problem that is bothering there was a crime problem. now all of a sudden when people are overdosing in massachusetts, new hampshire, now all of a sudden you are hearing people talk about it as a medical problem. i think it is unfair that now it statesg out into the i have seen a lot of programs. nobody is really talking about back then when i was growing up. host: frederick, are you referring to the fact that it's affecting white people? caller: yes, that is what i in saying. host: there is a different attitude towards it now. caller: i am here in cummings, talking about it. said, in of the late
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1960's or early 1970's, it was running all through my neighborhood. i had friends who overdosed on heroin. and nobody talked about it. time, it was a crime problem. suburbs,it is in the it is a medical problem. my here them talk about all the clinics and programs they want to use. what to use more money and more money because they call it a "medical" problem. back in the 1980's, it was a crime problem. host: this is earnest in hollywood, south carolina. caller: on because of pennsylvania. i am an addict now and i have been recovering since 1995. when i came back from overseas all of the heroin addicts came from vietnam. is in thing the guys that in pennsylvania. the guy the same thing
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in pennsylvania was saying. africaave a disease in sooner or later, it will come overseas to america. and that is what is happening now. it is beginning to affect tehe shwhite people and now something is being done by it. it is a shame, but this is what is happening and i am glad that something is being done, but it should have been done way back then. host: ernest, you said you are an addict. what kind of addict? caller: i was addicted to cocaine. i used heroin and i have been recovering since 1995. host: what was your addiction like? what were some of the impacts of it? caller: well, most of my addictions happened to me when i was in the military. everything happened to me when i was in the military. i had seen some traumas and i had seen a lot of addicts shooting up. it was like a shooting gallery right there where i was stationed at.
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and you know, these guys are just sitting around and shooting heroin all day long. nothing was being done. they just let them out on the street. and the devils came home. no program or nothing was being done for these guys that came back from overseas. and we still have the impact right now. host: do you see the impact of heroin use in hollywood, south carolina? caller: it is being used here, yes. i know it is. host: is easy to get? caller: if you wanted to, you could get it. host: thank you for your time. water is calling in rum new jersey. -- from new jersey. problem,his heroin like the gentleman was saying, it should never have been dealt with as a criminal justice issue. but as you go on you learn more and you know how to better deal with things. it should have been dealt with
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always as a medical issue. host: thank you sir. warren is a medical professional in a windsor mill, maryland. look at of medicine are you involved with? caller: i work in substance abuse, basically. host: so, in your view is there a heroin epidemic in this country? caller: well, i actually live in baltimore and work in washington dc. i get to see both sides of how, of what you call the problem has -- i mean, i see the affected people. [laughter] but it is a big problem. thehinking is, a lot of support staff available to help treat this problem, like counselors and substance abuse
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counselors and all the social workers, do not get paid a lot and are overworked. as a result, a lot of the people who come in for treatment and of being managed and not actually treated. so, they just go back to using. they make progress and that they go back into doing the same thing. and i also, i agree with the last two callers. it would be better with this as a medical problem and not -- i mean, we can't just put people in jail for doing the same things. mean, the court system is doing, it is not quite a help at this point. it is just making the whole situation bad for everyone. host: warren, a lot of the research we did for this program says that heroin abuse began as
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prescription drug abuse. do you see that? caller: yes, i agree with that. a lot of the people who i actually work with, started with what you call prescription drugs and then moved on to heroin and other things. they have different drugs that they use now which are basically opioid-based drugs. but you know, if we just can -- i mean, we need more of a budget. so people can actually have a little bit more care and can actually take their time and reduce the amount of caseloads eor a lot of tehshes counselors who in some cases 60 patients.
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it would reduce, i mean, it would increase what you call the success rate. what is a defective way to treat heroin addiction? the effective way to treat heroin addiction to me, is basically, well, you have to address the entire person as a whole, which means the medical aspect has to be addressed. the physical aspect -- the mental aspect of the person. it takes the entire treatment team to actually get that person off the substance. you can say, well, let's just focus on the heroin and then we think we are going to get some results. they are just going to go back
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to the same behavior. the most effective way to me, is to handle all aspects possible of the individual. we have support for them. for example, if they are homeless we might have to find them, what you call, a home. if they have mental aspects going on, they have to get treatment for their mental situation, whatever is going on. and mabye we can also provide medical treatment after we have addressed those other issues because a lot of times what we do is something whicat you call a patchwork. they come in and we put them on methadone and send them out. and no further aspect is followed. we will follow-up on how they leave and how they get food to eat. how they live with their families, or their partner. we need the entire structure to be inside to treat them.
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host: thank you for your time. mike is in ohio. mike, we are talking about the heroin epidemic in this country. caller: good today, peter. how are you? host: i'm fine, how are you? caller: a flashback to the iran scandal under bush one and we had that cocaine epidemic. remember that? i think they were trading machine guns for cocaine in south america and we had that cocaine epidemic in the 1980's. that was under bush one and reagan. and he is telling more stories now on the fox channel. but anyway, now we are into the heroin epidemic. and you know, we have been to production and their is three times as much as what it was before we went in, like what it was 15 years ago, and here you have got the state
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department and all of this stuff going on and here a while back on c-span i heard that one of our top senators, his brother-in-law, a man from china in charge of the shipping containers coming into this country. so, there was mention of that. so, i think we need to connect the dots here on what is actually going on. and you know, paul ryan the other day said we should not lose faith in government. host: mike, we are getting a little off course there, a little windy. let's give back on course to talk about what we are talking about this morning, which is the hair went epidemic in your community. eddie from new york, go ahead. caller: good morning, peter. how are you? host: please, go ahead. we are listening. caller: i am just commenting on heroin and this war on drugs.
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it just doesn't work. you know? we demonizet how addicts and what do we do, we throw them in jail? like before this call, i totally agree with the other three, ok? that we have to build the infrastructure for these addicts. they are ending up on the street with nowhere to go, ok? the you know, sweden profile, what they did over there. they legalized all of the drugs, ok? host: are you in favor of that? scott wong: -- caller: yes, i am. as people who would read this screen" they tehe
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would have a different outlook on how far back we are. host: that is eddie in a new york. here is the first page of yesterday's "new york times." town's antidrug plan, a safe site to use heroin. ithaca, new york has opposed a legalized, open area, or an area for people addicted to heroin to be able to use it legally. rogers represents a lot of rural kentucky and he was at this week's hearing on heroin and opioid abuse in the united states. for years, we end the countries and others, have fought for years to get the pharmaceutical companies to develop abuse deterrent formulations, to make opioids so they cannot be crushed and take away the time release of the drug to just a split second.
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and now we've got i think, five abuse deterrent opioid pills on the market. but doctors are not prescribing them. i don't know whether they don't know about them, or don't care about them, or whatever, but the bottom line is, they are not using what we have developed as an of these deterrent strategy -- as an abuse deterrent strategy. what you think about that? >> there are different reasons they might not be using them. one that is important for us to be aware of is that we have to be certain because this abuse deterrent requires development. they tend to be more expensive than the old opioid medication. you want to be mindful that there are insurances that when a physician prescribes it, the patient will be reimbursed for the cost associated with it. with have to create a system that incentivizes the utilization of these abuse
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deterrence formulations. they will be more expensive. host: here is a cover of the most recent "national review." ground zero in the opiate epidemic is not in some exotic coffee field or in some cartel 'compound. it is right there in walgreens and the middle of every city and town in the country. this is kevin williamson, who went to the country and reported this story, including going to drug corners. hear is a little bit of what he wrote. in 2013, walgreens made the second-largest fine ever imposed for being so loosey goosey and handling oxycontin center.istribution it enabled untold quantities of the stuff to reach the black market. a typical sells 73,000 oxycodone pills each year. six walgreens in florida were
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going through more than one million pills a year each. a few years before that, perdue fined for misleading the public about the addictive miss of oxycodone. kentucky, which has been absolutely ravaged by opiate addiction, is still pursuing litigation against purdue, and it has threatened to take its case all the way to the supreme court if it comes to that. we have herbert, calling from georgia. caller: good morning, peter. i am 65 years old. i have been off of heroin for now. 30 years i started when i was 18 years old. they are talking about oxycodone and everything else. it is differnent.,
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i have not had oxycodone since i have been off of heroin. those guys don't even know what they are talking about. 1991.on, up until but what made me get off of heroin. i am ia black guy. i've been through everything. all of my friends, a whole flood of my friends, died up of air when. we used to have shooting galleries. let me tell you, when you get those physical withdrawals, that's what makes them go to the heroin. i am telling you, every part of your body, from your toes, to everything else aches when you are heroin addicted. that is what those guys feel. that is what makes them go out there, just to maintain, just to relieve the pain of the heroin. you don't get the high no more. you just are trying to relieve the pain, to not be sick.
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you start vomiting and everything else, man. you try sipping on through ruenals. they are talking about the codon. i have been through it and gotten off of it. i have scars of my arms right now, peter, after 30 years that you can see that i injected heroin. i injected heroin in my neck and in my foot. i saw a white couple one day a mcdonald's. i seen them with the spoon. i kept looking at them. i try to stop them because i saw them at the beginning. they were going to shoot some heroin. i try to relate to them. i said you don't want to get this happy. when you get is happy, you just want to relief from the aching pain. it is different than oxycontin and things.
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experience andhe came out of it. most of my friends are dead. i can count maybe three friends who are still living. i have a teacher friend who recently retired. these to shoot heroin together. -- we used to shoot heroin together. he is active in the ministry. me, i tried to talk to people. these people they need to talk to, to went to the window. a lot of them got on methadone, but they did not give them a high dosage. they started breaking down there dosage. but thank god, through the glory ofgod, i did not need neeone that. i went through my job for 20 years and i retired. i went through the physical and everything, but doing that time. host: herbert, why did you start using it in the first place? caller: well, it started as a
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conventional drug because we were 18 years old. it started off as a conventional drug. back then they were calling it smack. we were starting at first, right? when we started snorting it, then you start off skin p lopping. i was scared of needles, peter. i was scared. so, i started skin popping. and then one day i got with some dudes and they were mainlining. and they got more high than i did. it went from there all the way to the addiction. it started as a nodding sensation. is a feeling that gives you. it makes her body like, it makes it like -- it relieves
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everything in your body. it does something to you mentally. i mean, like a trance. is like you are in a trance. host: herbert, do you miss that sensation? caller: no, no. peter, i remember. i had back surgery too, right? -- thatad back surgery is why i am retired too -- they had the morphine right at the beginning. i didn't like that feeling. and then when the doctor did give me the oxycontin and the hydrocodone, i did not like the old funny feeling. you feel a funny feeling in your knee. and i just did not like that. it was like a heat feeling all around in your head. i didn't like that feeling no more. host: how did you support your heroin habit? caller: i went to jail. like that guy said, i was
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burglarizing, i was stealing. in,ed to go in the stores miami in the shopping centers. i would steal everything. if you look at my record, a lot of it came from the drug use. i went to prison because of my druggies. -- because of my drug use. e judgeo cry to the dru monday and i said, man, i need some drugs. sent, god, take this away from me. i don't want to live like this no more. i looked at myself and through the support of myself -- there are eight of us -- they showed so much love for me. that is what made me want to get off of it. i said, i can't be like this. i don't want to be like this. that helps you too, when you see love coming from either your
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family members, and some outside guys who try to embrace you, and you just a want to live like that no more. you don't want to live for the high. i wish i could be an as set to help somebody. if something called my number four whatever. -- or whatever. man, i can relate to these people. i can tell them how to get off of it. i can let them know, this ain't you. you were not born with this habit. you don't need to get high. and you know what i always make a joke of? get high.ood time to and i just look and i left now. i don't want to see nobody on durgs. i don't care if you are black, white, spanish, whatever. destroyeen women
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themselves through this drug. i hate to see this. i had a couple and i hate to see that, man. talking g good girls, about, i have a couple of white lois, s named mike and some white guys from new york. and i used to talk to them and we used to kick it around and stuff, and we shared stories and stuff like that, man, and -- ost: thanks for your time this morning, and thanks for sharing your experience. new york, a scale, medical professional. what kind of medical ken? sional are you, caller: i should clarify in 1970 and '71, i worked for a new york state agency called the narcotic addiction control commission. some degree to be a substance abuse counselor. 20s, very young, early with no personal drug experience. i had never used any drug. not even tobacco.
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but we were given case loads of people who had been certified by the state. new york state was attempting to solve the heroin problem by medicaling heroin use a issue and not a legal issue. so if you were arrested for an apartment and could demonstrate that you were a heroin user instead of going to a conventional jail, you would go into a treatment facility. most of them were very well intentioned facilities. under the state, some were set up old-school, some were set up in prisons. one of the problems, we had people started declared themselves addicts because it was much easier time to do to commit a crime, that was the problem. and it was also the beginning of a cycle of self-pity, if i may.
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people started seeing addiction that befell them when really, it was a choice they made. detox, when they would they would hit the street and a say, wow, guys would i feel great. i think i'll just get high once more.ce illustrate life, and then they would get back into it. we are, 40-45 years into and we're going another cycle. but let me just sum up by saying appalled that al opiods they're selling now are so readily available now. oxycottin. i had surgery about eight years ago and i experienced the feeling you get from those drugs
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and it's an interesting experience. anyone, ecommend it to especially if they're inclined addiction. out also want to point many people are addicted to behavior such as gambling. problem. sterious host: we're going to leave it there and hear from ryan in houston, texas. ryan, how have you been impacted by heroin? start by want to saying that heroin is really a sucker's drug, you know what i'm saying? i come from new orleans. these people here, i hear a lot you know, it ing, was this and it was that. in new orleans, a lot of guys, loving using heroin because we thought it was cool. we was wearing high fashion, you saying? t i'm you would see us on the street and you wouldn't think that we i'mon heroin, you know what saying. we were high-fashion, we were looking good, feeling good, you
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saying? i'm o to us, it was like cool to do. but we all found out that it wasn't, you know what i'm saying, and in new orleans you go, you know, it was cool, you see all the people was doing heroin, they was the coolest, you know what i'm saying, so we cool. that was host: how long did you -- caller: in the long run, people would still look us and not know that. we would come out looking like a million bucks and go get high but we was addicts. go to work every day. i'm not trying to put that like cool but heroin was, ou know, you go to work, you know what i'm saying, you go get do your bag, oy, and you just chill. it's just like drinking a beer. did you usehow long heroin? caller: it's the devil. don't get me wrong.
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but we didn't look at heroin as something like the rest of these people looked at it, you know what i'm saying. it took a lot of lives and a lot of people, but we, you know, it's a sucker's drug. host: ryan. i'm going to move on to dan in ex exetter, new hampshire. dan, how have you been impacted by heroin? peter. good morning, i had two sons. youngest son was 18, he started using heroin. in oldest son was living florida. we were up here in new ampshire, and after two years of spending about $150,000 in oldest son moved help with s going to his younger brother. after about a year, he got and ted and he overdosed died. is still t son
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addicted. i believe the drug industry who reached huge profits -- he did oxycontins off the street, and it rose to almost pill. he went to heroin, which was $10 a bag. love to ings i would see happen, as you showed a overdose drug, while you have to get a blah blah,n and blah i would like to see one of those hanging around every addict's neck. whatdest son when he od'd, happened was, he was in a car, and this happens often is the people when somebody overdoses, they don't want to ruin their high. they pulled up and threw him out onto the sidewalk. o he was found dead on the
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sidewalk. ow, if they had that drug, norcan or whatever, around his it, and ybody could use the drug company should pay for it. there's another drug an ing now, which is new, injection drug. it lasts a month. ut the patient -- but the problem is, the patient has to be clean for 10 days and an addict cannot stay clean for 10 days, so that has to be an in-house program. so it's impacted me. it's funny because i remember the day sitting in my bedroom when my son told me that, and as it came over his lips, i saw my future of what it was going to be like, and in an instant, but
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realized how hard it would be. host: dan, why do you think they started? caller: they start like anybody else, the kids, they get it in schools. you know another interesting son, when he ngest was in the sixth and seventh grade, he was hard to handle at school, blah, blah, blah, and the school told us, okay, he's dlin, and if rid him out.got to take so had to put him on a ritalin. crushing up the ritalin and snorting it, and i believed that's where his drug interests started. tough, peter. host: where is your youngest son
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living today? caller: he lives with me in my basement in my house. he cannot live on his own. he's on the methadone program, and as far as the last guy that called, it's a typical republican response, it's a choice. you know, nobody's saying to all the crimes that the addicts commit, stealing, robbing, or whatever should be -- no, it's possession of of drugs that should be treated as illness. host: has he stolen from you? caller: oh, my god, he's stolen from me. yeah, he's stolen checks from me. n thousands of dollars. dan, i know this was an issue in the new hampshire primary and a lot of the candidates talked about it, chris christie, hillary clinton, et cetera. is there, in your view, a
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head-rolling response to this issue? caller: yes, there is. there's federal funding. go back to the tremendous profits of the drug industry. funded d what's being exactly? what should be funded? caller: in-house treatment is the only thing. i live in new hampshire. screwed up new hampshire is. my son has to get a address, or a friend of his, so he can get on to have this stuff covered. if he didn't have access to the massachusetts healthcare system, he'd be dead by now. host: how clean is he right now? because e's clean now he's on methadone. down day, he's got to go to the clinic. that takes away the urge. telling her addict was you, it's not to get high anymore. it's to stop the withdrawals,
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which is all-encompassing. so he's on -- he's counseling. health. all through mass host: the comprehensive program that he's on, is it effective on a day-to-day basis? is.ler: yes, it ut the long -- the underlying problem that addicts have with to r personality, that has be resolved. ow, he's got the guilt now because his older brother hisdosed, and he feels it's fault. the pressures of life for drug addicts, to the drugs. host: thank you for sharing your us this morning on the "washington journal" as we epidemic the heroin in the community and in the united states. it's estimated that 700,000 or
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so people are addicted to heroin at this point in the u.s. wilmington, n illinois. go ahead, anthony. aller: i'd like to make a comment why there's no mention of no mention of that new heroin called crocadill. host: what is that. caller: i just saw it on netflicks. it's like a flesh-eating disease out the bones are coming of these people. host: from using heroin? caller: it's a new heroin called krokodil, and there's no mention of it right now. host: we appreciate you bringing that to our attention. michael is in lancaster, california. hi, michael. caller: good morning. you know, krokodil is something ukraine.in the they mix it up and shoot it. it has nothing to do with heroin. but you know, the way to get off these drugs is you just have to
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stop. that's it. just like coffee. you drink coffee. it was hell, and i tell you, but there was two years of driving by, and every time i smelled coffee, it would kill me. but if you just stop, you just got to stop, go through the congress you know, wants to spend billions of dollars, it's just -- and the his son living in the basement, you know, sometimes you just got to kick them out and let them go on their own, and then they stop. , you you keep know -- methadone is one of the hardest things to get off. it's way worse than heroin. you don't use another drug to get off a drug. they use -- methadone, i hear it will about kill you to get off of that. host: do you have personal experience with that, michael? and i got on i -- ome pills and i was on pills
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or a while, and some heroin, and about two years, and finally, i just said, man, i've and bout enough of this just quick. host: michael, again, back to the research for this program. said a lot t we saw of people who are on heroin today started with prescription pills. they couldn't get any more, so they went to the alternative, which was heroin, and it was et cetera. caller: i started -- me and my friends started getting into the medicine cabinet of our parents and stuff and heroin just came in. the heroin is coming over from mexico like you wouldn't believe. but but it's a different high. the pills and the heroin are different highs. so you just -- you can't family had to let me go. i was on the street. there was no choice. laid down by a bush in long
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beach and i stayed there for about four days, this old lady water.t and gave me i was determined to get off of it. and it took about five days. you said your family let you go. has his ous caller dan basement.g in the aller: he is not going to get any better if he can just stay there like that. methadone, that which my god, to get off that, it's like twice as hard as heroin. it's five times as hard. know, pick another drug. methadone is the worst thing they ever made. it's a synthetic heroin. host: michael, as far as federal policy, state policy, what kind of treatments or policies could in treating? caller: you know, first, the
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person has to be sick and tired of it. it. have to just be tired of and then you've got to want to quit. people come in, and they go in these rehabs. days ehab, they'll get 90 or whatever rehab, they get out again. do it they go hang around the same person. you've got to change. change your whole life, change your friends, change your people. and it's really not that difficult. nd you've got to get up every day and you've got to say today, today.ot going to use, not i ain't going to use for the whole week. just today. ost: michael, are you in a 12-step program? go.er: i did 'm holding my narcotics anonymous. those places are getting to be now, oh, there must be some underlying cause why you're getting high. well, no, there's not. addicted to get
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heroin or pills if you abuse them. you know, your body needs it. you start feeding it and your body loses, like cigarettes or something. but it's just -- anybody, it's not a sickness. but it's not ick, a sickness. i don't know, in congress, with congress has come out a bunch -- well, you know, that's the taxpayers' money. it's not their money. and they spend it like --i mean, it's just crazy. ou know what they're going to do is get all these rehabs going and these guys are going to come in and out, they might want to while, go or a little back out, clean up, go back out, and it's just going to cost the s of can people billion dollars and, you know, sure it those lp some people but people probably would have been saved anyway because they were tired of it. ou've just got to be sick and
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tired. host: michael from lancaster, california. we've got a couple of guests coming up. we're going to continue this conversation. f you're on the phone line, just stay there because we're going to continue to take your program.roughout this coming up, we're going to talk with daniel raymond. e's with a group called the harm reduction coalition, and we'll talk about what his group is doing to cut the number of heroin-related deaths nationwide. megan mccarthy will be here. she's chief of a newsletter called "morning consult" and e'll talk about state and federal governments and what they're doing in response to epidemic.in first, back to the hearing from this week on capitol. this is representative john micah of florida talking about the death toll and the toeth of drug overdoses.death toll of drug overdoses.
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* death toll. ately, ca: unfortun america is experiencing drug overdose deaths. overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the united states. in 2014 -- i don't have the 2015 2014, in yet, but in listen to this, there are 47,055 drug overdose y deaths. that means that this hearing hours, 10 people will die in the next two hours drug overdose death. for americans -- and this is a little chart showing the 1999.se since criminal i chaired justice policy oversight committee from '98 to '99, and
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we thought we had an epidemic back in '99 with 16,000, and i can show you some of the eadlines from my local newspapers, where we had people ying over -- many people dying over a weekend. unfortunately, that's what we're andng again in my community across the united states. more americans have died from drug-related in one year than all that were killed in the lengthy war.an if the current trend continues, he annual death rate could climb beyond those killed in vietnam over that multi-year struggle in one year. the graph from the washington post illustrates the disturbing overdoses between
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2014.and of the 47,000, more than 10,000 heroin-related of overdoses. a oin use is increasing at faster rate. you want to talk about a war on young nd war on our eople, the heroin deaths are killing our women twice the rate with our 109% more youth. unfortunately, we've seen, ccording to the centers for disease control and prevention heroin use among -- the deaths among our in the past 18-25 decade have soared, and again, lead the statistics, the deadly
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statistics. host: and joining us from our new york studio is daniel raymond. he's the policy director of a group called harm reduction what, mr. hich is raymond? guest: good morning. is harm reduction coalition a national organization working to address the health issues use.iated with drug host: how did it get started? started about 20 years ago. this was back in the early '90s in the height of the aids epidemic, and we came out of the exchange o start programs across the country to prevent hiv from spreading among people who inject drugs and bring them into healthcare and services. host: how are you funded? guest: we have some state and contracts who do training and education, and we have some foundations.rivate host: any federal monies?
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guest: currently, we don't have any federal funding. in the past, we've had funding from the centers for disease control for education. host: how did you personally get involved in this issue? guest: i got involved back when i was in college in new york city, and this was ground zero epidemic, and it was all around us. it was also a huge moment in the new york drugs in city, where there was a lot of dealing, a lot of drug and it was the perfect storm, the perfect environment for hiv to spread, so i started getting doing d as a activist yringe exchange and found out it was extremely rewarding, the connections you can make with drugs, the use conversations you can make, and
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getting healthier was a powerful motivator for me doing this work. host: do needle exchanges work? guest: they absolutely do. been my own personal experience. out by years rn and years of research. they definitely work to prevent get nd also work to help people into treatment, people who have often been using, then years, ng for years and hand.eed that helping we have a lot of examples of needle exchange programs across the country that are on the fighting s of overdose, of providing getting people connected to addiction treatment and recovery services. these e's no question programs work. host: daniel raymond we have viewers ing with our or the last 25 -- 45 minutes and we've heard incredible stories about the power of heroin addiction.
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in your view, what's the best way to get people off of heroin r simply to manage the addiction? guest: well, when you look at effectively, st there's no solution that's going to work for everybody. i think your last caller was quit, and out how he that's a path that works for some people. the best evidence says that if as use medication, such methadone, alongside with counseling and other support services, people stay in treatment for longer and get results. everything we know tells us if you've got a heroin problem, the success and f work with a o and work get treatment with counseling to get support to help you stay on that path. tot: heroin deaths according the c.d.c. are up 286%, overdose
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deaths, over the last 15 or so years. are you seeing a big increase in new york city? host: we've definitely seen an increase in new york city. increases ed seeing in different parts of the city around prescription pain opiods, in places like also seen nd, and these rises in heroin deaths in a lot of different parts of the city. staten island but also the bronx, parts of brooklyn. it's a phenomenon that is of the all parts country. host: daniel raymond, you're at in newdio on 42nd street york. you know, very commercial, nice neighborhood. could you go out in 15 minutes and get some heroin from where right now? guest: well, i think one thing understand is how the heroin market has changed. the image that a lot of us have is from back in the '70s and the '80s, that you find some dealer
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corner, that you go into what seems like a bad neighborhood and you score some drugs. a lot of heroin dealing is much more subtle, invisible. you have a contact that you text. they arrange a meeting location. it could be a parking lot outside of a coffee place. so it's not so much that visible we've been that used to seeing from the '70s and '80s. it's almost like an uber or eamless model that you have a connection, you meet your dealer heroin.ace, and you get host: if you want to participate in our conversation this morning about the heroin epidemic in this country, 202-748-8000. impacted by heroin use, 202-748-8001 for medical
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professionals, and 202-748-8002 for all others. e want to show you this map, nd this is the -- the redder parts of the map is where there's been an increase or higher percentage of heroin overdose in this country. you can see the impact, a lot of appalacia there, florida, out in the west, a lot of red areas out in the west as well and up in the northeast. john is in philadelphia. a medical professional. john, you're on with daniel raymond of the harm reduction coalition. guest: good morning, peter, and thank you for c-span. i'm 64, i'm retired now. actually. i feel three stories and broke my back.nd broke
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thank god i can walk and everything, i was a stroke victim. i was a substance abuse and mental health counselor in north carolina. i put myself through grad school and i was working. '90,' 91 and it was the crack cocaine epidemic that was happening then in north carolina. it was working its way up and down the east coast, and i -- so weekends when i was in grad school, and i worked alternating weekends at the and y treatment facility, the other alternating weekends, charter hospital. there was a different level of obviously.h one, back in '91, it cost $1,000 a and whatarter hospital and ad was professionals people with good insurance. the rest of the people who
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didn't have insurance, you know, to the county treatment center. the county treatment center was but it didn't have the facilities, and it just -- they couldn't take people. peopleuldn't take enough in. ost: so john, as a masters level counselor, is there a olution to what's going on in your view? caller: well, that's a long story, peter, but i'll try to make it real short. solution.re's a i'm a recovering alcoholic, and four i was on oxy for years, and i came off oxy with no problem. so different people are affected differently by different drugs. people have their different triptonite, okay.
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i've tried a lot of different drugs. alcohol,ffected me but that was my personal. my kriptonite. here's what i think. people have a biosocial model. what that means is you've got to treat medically, socially. in other words, they have social problems, people don't have work. you know, they're living on the street. that's a social problem. psychosocial. ou've got to treat the psychological problems. host: john, i think we got the point. forel raymond, any response that caller? guest: john, thank you for your s servations and your insight from the field and from your own experience. i think the point that you were making about the limited treatment capacity in north working when you were in the early '90s is what we're seeing play out in states across now, that y right there are waiting lists for treatment.
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here are shortages of beds, of facilities, of trained physicians, of trained counselors. and we're confronting this crisis in the midst of the big gap in our treatment capacity. we just don't have the capacity right now to get everybody into treatment tomorrow. so i think that's going to be an issue that congress and the white house are going to be looking seriously at over the next several months. you beaniel raymond, can a functioning citizen if you are addicted to heroin? guest: yeah, definitely. you can hold down a job, you can relationship. at some point, most people's to escalate.tarts they need more and more heroin to function. that means that they need more and more money to support their habit. o not everybody can sustain that indefinitely. but i think what you've heard this morning is that addiction cuts across all walks of life, whether it's the functional
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alcoholic, or the person who's theirg arrested or losing home. lot of it has to do with the circumstances in which you're habit. maintain your if you've got a job, if you've got an income, if you've got some money. got more social apport, then you have more of cushion around you. whereas, if you're exposed to situations which are going to arrested, then you might be spiralling further harmful patterns. host: in your view, mr. raymond, do you think the heroin epidemic, the use of heroin in increased so as exponentially recently? guest: i think there's a very simple answer to that, that over the last 20 years, we've seen a
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dramatic increase in the use and vailability of prescription pain killers, opiods. there's been a brought effort to widely that was supported by the pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing them and some people who felt understandably that maybe we pain ndertreating chronic ut the consequences have been devasta devastating. millions of people have been exposed to opiods and some of hem have gotten dependent on them and it's created this market for heroin that did not exist before. we've had heroin in this country for decades but not at the level we're seeing at. who first got opioids, whether they were prescribed or found them in
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friend's medicine cabinet. opioidse prescription of that started it. ost: a box of rocks knows that heroin is bad but people use it anyway. how much money can fix that? eople will abuse drugs or anything until the end of time. guest: i hear that sentiment a ot, and there's a couple of pieces there, that people will use drugs, that we're not ever going to get to a place where we've finally solved our drug problems once and for all. it's a part of whatever you want to call it, human nature, not re, that our goal is going to be let's imagine a time where there are no more drugs using drugs.eople at the same time, pretty much everybody has made some bad choices or hard choices at some point or another in their lives. it may not be drugs. it may be something else. a bad business investment, a bad
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relationship, a bad argument, and i think that we have to hink about what our role is in helping to mitigate the of people's choices. that doesn't mean they're not capable of making choices. not doesn't mean they're responsible for the choices that they made. but when we see people getting with drugs, i step back and o say is it in society's best interest to keep following, or interestsociety's best to say we don't want to see families torn apart. we see potential in these people. we see potential for recovery, their potential for growth, their potential for contributing to society, and we want to help them fulfill that. host: wayne is in jonesboro, georgia. go ahead, wayne. caller: good morning, sir. been around this almost all my life, prescription drugs and street drugs.
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both sides of the fan. it looks like the major problem is it starts off pharmaceutical companies. of h are making trillions eople s off of these p getting on heroin. if they have to go in for and they something have to have opiates when they come out, and there's no movement to get them off, and they want to switch them over to methadone, and -- that they'll host: wayne, is that what happened to you? sir, that's sir, no, just what i've seen from friends hat, you know, i would never have thought of -- never tested in the world. though at 42 died of
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some kind of chemical imbalance, f some kind of methadone, and some kind of other pill. i don't know what it was. but i know methadone was involved. host: thank you, wayne. any response? guest: yeah, raymond, thank you story, and i'm sorry to hear about your loss. i do think that that speaks to n experience that a lot of people have had. and national surveys are bearing this out. a lot of people know somebody who developed a problem with this prescription pain killers. they might have gotten prescribed after a surgery, after an accident, for chronic pain. collectively, t we're starting to see, we have overprescribed these pain kill ers and maybe miscalculated who's most going to benefit and likely to suffer harm from them. so that's why we saw a couple of centers for e disease control put out guidelines for primary care roviders to say, if you are
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considering using opioid pain chronic pain, t here's some principles. don't use them as your first therapy. try other things first. go slow, and stay slow. dose.the low and monitor people closely to see if they're getting into a at lem and then look tapering, look at strategies to ing ae the risk for develop serious problem. so we're seeing a concerted been too saying we've generous, too liberal with our that's rescribing, and creating this crisis now where people are getting dependent on opioids, people are overdosing. we need to start to recalibrate make reign that back in, sure people who do benefit from the opioids and who do need them for pain still have access to them but at the same time say, e can't keep writing prescriptions for opioids when there are better ways to manage
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pain. host: recently in the washington post was this information, over 900,000 physicians in the united of themnearly every one can write a prescription for but to ainkillers, prescribe treatment drugs, doctors must take an eight-hour a special apply for license and fewer than 32,000 such a have received license. what is that treatment drug, daniel raymond, that can be used? sabaxone.'s called it is derived from the same -- it's an opioid drug that can help transition people off the roin, off of painkillers they're addicted to and it also has a lot of benefits. it's very hard, even if you take
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too many doses and overdose on it. it's been very successful in treatment, but when it was years ced back about 15 ago, the way it was set up was requiring that you have to go through a special training course. so it's a much higher standard actually rs need to write prescriptions for painkillers. we're also seeing that there's a limit to how many patients a doctor can treat. you can only treat 30 patients in the first year, up to 100 after that. look at ss has taken a this. the white house has taken a look at this, and we're starting to ay if we want more doctors treating addiction, then we cannot impose these constraints disincentives them from becoming prescribers who are prescribe o buprenorphine and support peoples' treatment and recovery process. host: do you agree with that?
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guest: i absolutely agree with that. it's been alarming to me to hear the stories of people who have been seeking treatment, who have tried other things, who have tried detox and rehab and trying their own, they haven't been successful, so they find a sperately to doctor who can prescribe them buprenorphine so that they can to recovery ath they're trying to seek. and you hear these stories of have to call doctor after doctor who says, i'm orry, i'm not taking new patients, i've reached my cap, who have to drive hundreds of take to find a doctor to them. the most tragic of all, who die of an overdose while they're waiting for a slot to open up for a doctor who could prescribe this drug to them that could overdose in ed the the first place. it's really serious -- overdose, we need more doctors who are phine.o prescribe buprenor host: daniel raymond, earlier this year, congress lifted the ban on needle exchanges.
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was that a positive development? guest: absolutely. hadress took a look at what been a long-standing prohibition on use of federal funds for exchanges. back in the late '80s, when these programs were very new, there was a lot of concerns about, are they going to send the wrong message? are they going to encourage drug use? and there wasn't a whole lot of research on them yet in this country. so 25 years later, we've learned a few things. we've learned that these programs work so there's no more concerns about research, they're not encouraging drug use. they're actually helping people. that as so have seen the drug problems have spread urban areas and really into suburban rural areas country, that the big cities were prepared, because states like new york have needle places programs but like rural appalachia don't have
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needle exchange programs and that's where we're seeing it spread the fastest. process that limited these federal funds was contributing to the spread of and when congress recognized that, they revised their policy. sign,is is a very positive and we're hoping for some good news in the near future around more guidance about how states and communities can redirect their federal funds if this is a olution that makes sense for them. host: wendy in hedgesville, west virginia. you've been very patient. you're on the "washington journal." caller: hello, good morning. to say that i am most 90 days clean from heroin. i got clean on january 6th, and i just don't understand why no ne's talking about the aa/na program, because that's what saved my life. suboxone and subutex addiction.ck to got my suboxone and sold them
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for heroin. i kept going up on my dose until effect i was getting from the heroin so it led me back to active addiction, and i had to lose everything to want to get clean. i lost my house, my cars, my driver's license and ultimate, cps stepped in and took my kids. so i came to west virginia, got myself, was sick as could be for 30 days. day. to aa every got a sponsor, read the big book, and i'm working the steps, and this is the only thing that has worked for me. almost 90 days clean is the been clean in 10 years. host: wendy, how did you get heroin? on caller: oxycodone. went to a pain management doctor in the baltimore, washington, area and all i have back.thritis in my lower they made me do an mri and he milligram oxycodone, just escalated.
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fe fentanyl patches. i was getting discharged and doctor shopping. and when maryland caught onto that, i just got discharged and went to heroin. host: and how did you find the heroin? caller: well, daniel raymond, one thing i disagree with, you everywhere. an addict can spot another addict. you can spot a dealer. it's everywhere. it's all over. i could go to the 7-eleven or and i could tever spot somebody. it's that common. it's not subtle. it's out there. it's everywhere. disagree with daniel raymond on you cannot function as a heroin addict. morning, p every you're dope sick. you can't get your kids on the bus. and that'so to work, just how it is. host: wendy, did you lose your job? caller: i lost everything, yes. i lost my job, my house got
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driver's license, my car broke down on the side of the road. left it dope sick, i there. they towed it. i never got it. you don't care about anything. my kids from school one day, cps came to my car and said you're not taking them. this was just in october 2015. you can't get them here on time. they say you're a mess every morning, and that was the day god interfered in my life and i came up here and i got clean. and i still used from october to january, even though my kids got used., i still overdosed three times. just had to get clean. host: wendy, why did you go to west virginia? caller: because my parents, i lost everything. my sister had my kids and i called my parents and said give me one more chance. rehabs, the he clinics, kept relapsing, relapsing. they gave me one more chance. i came up here, fought through the withdrawals, to the emergency room, swore i was
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dying. the doctors kept being positive, go home, suck it up, stick it out, and you'll get through it, i did. host: you detoxed mostly at home? bedroom, home, in a with immodium ad and benadryl. host: and your parents? caller: and my parents. host: and you go to a meeting every day? caller: every day. host: wendy, thanks for sharing your story. daniel raymond. guest: wendy, i want to thank congratulations, i'm glad you're doing well, and congratulations on coming up on your 90 days. i understand what you're saying. i do think that you've said you've tried methadone and buprenorphine and it didn't work for you. aa and na were the only things that worked for you. that a number of people said aa didn't work for me. na didn't work for me. methadone was what worked for me or buprenorphine was what worked for me. i think like any other kinds of
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treating thise're as a serious disease, that it's not one size fits all, but we have to find the right treatment for the right person, and it's enough estion of having options for people, it's about making sure that all the options are available and that we find people ideally before they've lost everything. i hate hearing stories about people who had to lose everything before they got help. that's got to be something we've got to intervene in earlier, wherever possible. host: john is in waterbury, connecticut. you're on with daniel raymond at harm reduction coalition. caller: yes, good morning, and thank you for the program. i would like to also say to wendy, blessings and good luck on your recovery. i'm not one of these people who's going to sit here and think that this is all great and all. , that it's just a simple problem. it's a huge problem. it's a self-induced problem. and i truly feel the only cure being clean.
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wendy made it perfectly clear. i can't speak on it, i've never been addicted to it. the problem i have is you guys guys -- not particular people, but programs for recovery are aking money from senior citizens who are healthy and worked their whole lives and also children who are in schools who could be benefitting from sports and music and other school programs, and you want to take those taxpayer dollars and put them towards people who don't want to be clean, which is the simple truth. you can't put poison in your system and think you're going to be able to function normally. and you know, how do you go about justifying that you could go on one drug from another when i bet you $100 you're not going to go and put swamp water in your car and think you're going drive it to work. i just don't understand how you're justifying this problem by trying to say, well, we have drugs that will bring you back these people are going to live on the street and cause how many millions of
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dollars, whether it be through hospital care, psychiatric care, he problems they caused for families and society in general. host: i think we got the point. daniel raymond, a response for that caller? guest: i think there's a certain to ask, are e have we going to treat people who suffer from addiction different treat people who suffer from heart disease? are these all medical problems? you talk about them being self-induced. some people develop physical problems that are related to lack of exercise, nutrition, obesity, things like that, smoking, all of these things. where do we start to draw the line about who's deserving of ealth and who's not deserving of health? i think an illness is an illness. addiction is an illness, and a very difficult process. ultimately, investing in saves money.ually we're not necessarily taking away from here or there.
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investments, we know that that every dollar we spend will come back to us many times over as people become more stable, more economically productive, pay taxes, support those support all of things that i think that we all care about. so i don't think that it's an either/or situation. host: daniel raymond, what's the role of insurance in treatment? guest: i think that's a big issue right now. typically had a has, you system that know, for decades operated outside of the rest of the medical system and insurance has lways treated addiction as something of a second-class itizen, that insurance companies have not covered, provided the same level of addiction treatment as they have for treatment of physical diseases and conditions.
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big push been a that's been part of federal law with some so worked attorney generals who are saying, listen, if you're an insurance company and providing an insurance policy, health insurance doesn't just mean physical health. it means behavioral health. it means mental health treatment. it means treatment for substance well, and yours as parody. show you have * parity. the same.o show you can't say we'll treat your yourcal conditions but not mental health. that gap is starting to close, but it's been a slow process. so i think there needs to be a big push around getting insurers to take their responsibility providing coverage in helping to manage both mental ealth and substance abuse disorders. cambridge, is in maryland. go ahead, tracy. caller: how are you doing today.
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touch on a couple of points. i started doing heroin back in '90s.arly of course, went through the problems with the family, not wanting to listen. i'm only 43 so i haven't really been a long time. so going in and out of jail, not wanting to listen. serenity gh rehab, lodge in chesapeake, virginia. heroin was just as easy to get on the street. got out of there, went right back to it. ended up, you know, traveling around doing whatever in the up getting into a lot of trouble in a bad dope deal. went to prison for eight years and actually had easier access to better heroin in there than i on the street. what it took and what i've seen, i've sat with my friends for their death bed trying to come off of heroin on their own. i've seen them addicted to
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methadone, trying to come off of methadone and not wanting to go through it and getting back on the methadone because it was harder than coming off the heroin. like the guy said a minute ago, making new drugs to counteract a drug, i mean, you can throw money at things as much as you can until you search for the source. i'm not hearing anybody talk anymore like years ago about fighting the influx of drugs. where are the drugs coming from? who is -- you know, i believe it years ago during the wars, 70-80% of the orld's heroin came out of afghanistan, the majority -- the rest of the heroin, i believe, asia.ut of southeast here again, speaks to a point, vested interest in afghanistan, we've got more troops in afghanistan now than any other middle eastern country, yet that's where the majority of their heroin comes rom, and it takes a lot of
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poppies in a huge poppy field to get the sap from them to produce the heroin. these should be able to be seen imagery,know, satellite things like that. seeing i'm just -- i'm throwing money at the programs, and i understand. the help, some people get the help. some people use that help to get on other dope that's given to them such as methadone. do you see where i'm going with this? host: we'll get a response from a second.mond in just do you think -- what about legalization from your point of view? caller: oh, no. no, no. the devil is already on earth. you don't want to make him president. that's what you would be doing heroin. host: how do you manage your sobriety today? caller: i'm sitting here talking shaky.t, getting i remember when i first got about two fter i was years clean. we went on lockdown in prison and they brought the cart in to
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diabetics their shots and just seeing that gave me sweaty my stomachs and palms. it's an everyday thing. you have to say no. i don't hardly drink anymore, because i know if i do, it's going to mess me up. it just comes a time in a person's life where you just have to say enough is enough. i can quote you the serenity prayer and everything in the does me no good unless i myself want to stop what i'm doing. cambridge,'s tracy in maryland. daniel raymond. uest: yes, i think tracy was talking about looking to the source of these drugs. mentioning afghanistan. afghanistan has been a major heroin. globally of but much of the heroin in the u.s. doesn't come from fghanistan, and i think the challenge here is what i was saying earlier, that we wouldn't problem if heroin we hadn't had the levels of prescribing and levels of availability of prescription
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some of your guests and callers have talked about as being the path that led heroin, the road to that if we're talking about then iack to the source, think -- we've never had a world here heroin doesn't exist, and we've spent millions and hundreds of millions of dollars eradicate poppy ultivation, trying to get farmers to use different crops cocaine or rowing opiat opiates. we have not had enough success strrategies to keep saying we need to keep doubling them.ripling down on we have not shown where that's going to solve our problems. instead, we're seeing more now than we were 10 years ago. at i think we need to look the underlying drivers differently. it's not just the availability of drugs. it's the desire and demand for drugs and the lack of treatment options for people that are going to work for them, and not
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all treatment options are going to work for all people, but if you don't have any treatment options, then we never -- we're going to end up with more addiction.d more so i think it's really that demand side rather than the that we haven't done enough on, that demand in terms of the prevention level and in terms of supporting treatment more smartly and more effectively. host: daniel raymond is with the harm reduction coalition. thank you for your time this morning, sir. we're going to continue this conversation about the heroin in the united states. meghan mccarthy, who is chief of a newsletter called "morning consult." we'll talk about state and federal efforts. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. . sit ncicap.org]
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>> for this year's student cam contest, students tell us issues they want the candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign. equality, old us economy, education and immigration were all top issues. hanks to all the students and teachers who competed this year and congratulations to all of our win ers and every week day starting on the 1st, one of the top 21 winning 6:50 a.m. ll air at eastern on c-span. all entries are available for viewing online at studentcam.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our conversation on the heroin epidemic in the united states continues with meghan mccarthy. she's the chief of a newsletter what "morning consult", is what? it we're one of the largest newses in d.c.
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hill and we tol have a poling division that helps us get at what americans actually think about the issues we're covering. host: and your background is as correct? reporter, guest: yep. host: so in that background, is congress addresses the issue of so, how?idemic, and if host: yes, as someone who covers health policies for about five or six years, this has been a passing me, especially of the affordable care act and how much fighting has gone on and on with obamacare. ou know, the center has a bill that sets up new programs to address the opioid epidemic. host: what kind of programs though? guest: a lot of it is helping states coordinate efforts or helping states get more federal monitor the help iption drug use, to
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educate doctors about prescribing factors and things like that. host: this bill passed this year. passed by the house or signed by the president? host: no tjust passed the house a few weeks ago. they have had hearings about different legislation. they haven't moved the bill to the senate yet. house speaker ryan staff said it's something they are moving and there's some things that could happen by the end of may. host: how much money? guest: that is a question that g point. a stickin there's obviously bipartisan action to address this issue, ut how much money to spend on it is the question. still something that separates democrats and republicans. and the senate wanted to spend $600 million to bolster the epidemic. fight the republicans voted it down and hopefully it will play out in
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the house. host: we spend about $50 billion a year on the war on drugs. e spent about a trillion dollars in the last four years on the war on drugs. what do we spend in the macro on treatment type issues? host: that's a good question. and i think both sides might disagree on exactly how much money gets spent on that, and portion of the federal budget. there's a couple of different these s involved in dc.orts, the c these are smaller items in their budget. issue, s this a partisan democratic or republican issue? guest: in health policy, there's bipartisan cooperation before something gets done. the biggest sticking point remains whether or not to appropriate more money to do existing f there's funds you can call from to fight this epidemic. host: what about the states? guest: in the state level, you see -- and i think this is kind of common but because it's such
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acute regional issue in certain states, you see a little you see more ity activity between democrats and republicans in passing legislation or spending money on prevention or treatment programs. host: 202 is the area code for all of our numbers as we discussion this morning on the "washington journal" about the heroin epidemic in the united states. 202-748-8000 if you've been impacted by the use of heroin. 202-748-8001 if you're a medical professional and all others can call in at 202-748-8002. we want to begin with a call martinsville, west virginia. arl, meghan mccarthy out of "morning consult" is our guest. caller: hello. a heroinchild that has been to , and we have princeton house in new jersey.
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we have driven to suboxone clinics, which are 50 miles these last -- it's impossible. someone who u have works, they cannot get treatment a, drug back home, and to go to work. the one thing that did seem to is a drug called vivitrol. it's a shot. it lasts 30 days. owever, it sometimes wears off early. but we understand that ohio is program where they se the vivitrol shot in conjunction with vivitrol pills so that when the shot wears off early, the person can

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