News release from the
Dr. John Crawford outlines strategies to combat Opioid Crisis
(March 27, 2019) – At a press conference at Allen County GOP headquarters Wednesday morning, City Councilman At-Large John Crawford, who is running for Mayor in the Republican primary, outlined the strategies he will implement to combat the community’s opioid crisis.
The effects of the epidemic and related criminal activities are a drain on the local economy and residents’ quality of life and include:
- Illegal drug seizures of heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine increased in 2018.
- There were 127 fatal overdoses in 2017 and 102, verified to date, in 2018.
- Nationally, there were 70,200 fatal overdoses in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Life expectancy for Americans has dropped to 78.7 years.
- Medical costs are increasing.
- Expenses to care for children of parents with substance use disorders are increasing.
- Productive members of the workforce are being lost in the prime of their lives.
- Neighborhoods are deteriorating, and housing values are being dragged down.
“We need more quality treatment facilities for people who want help to get free from substance use disorder,” Crawford said. “There are Indiana state as well as federal programs that provide funding if communities offer local matching funds.”
Current financial commitments to the Fort Wayne Allen County Task Force for Opioid Strategic Planning (FATOS) include $500,000 from the Allen County Council. Crawford challenged Mayor Tom Henry to allocate at least $500,000 from this year’s City of Fort Wayne budget as well.
Previously, Crawford said he believed that higher educational attainment would most help the city advance. To that end, for the past 20 years he donated his entire annual City Council salary of $20,000 to the Questa Foundation, which helps students attend college with reduced student loan debt. Now, he considers the top problem facing the city to be the opioid crisis. Therefore, he pledged that, in addition to continuing the annual donation to Questa, if elected Mayor he will donate $40,000 annually from the Mayor’s salary to FATOS.
“More funding equals more treatment facilities, equals fewer people using illegal drugs, equals less violence and crime in our city,” Crawford said.