Shore Congressman Andy Kim discusses battling the nations drug epidemic
Jersey Shore Congressman Andy Kim (Ocean & Burlington Counties) joined us in the WOBM Newsroom to discuss a number of key issues affecting the 3rd District he represents as well as the rest of the nation.
There are many parts of the nation's grappling drug epidemic still without long-term solutions including getting people into recovery and making sure there's enough beds and tracing the source of narcotics.
According to the 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) from Mexico pose the most significant drug related threat to the U.S. stemming from their control of critical corridors along the southwest border.
"Mexican TCOs remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them," according to the U.S. DEA. "By controlling lucrative smuggling corridors across the U.S. Southwest Border (SWB), Mexican TCOs are able to introduce multi-ton quantities of illicit
drugs into the United States on a yearly basis."
Is enough being done to prevent the flow of drugs into the U.S.?
"Not enough is being done and that's what I find really frustrating about where this issue stands in Washington," Kim said. "The previous Congress did take steps to make some impacts but it's just not addressing the scope of the problem.This is a national emergency, a real crisis here and I don't see that level of urgency in how the government is responding and that's what I find frustrating. Where is our national strategy? What is our national plan?"
Kim says he has spoken with various law enforcement agencies on dealing with the opioid crisis on how it's being monitored.
"They have shown me how they're able to use maps on where they're seeing opioid overdoses, narcan use and all sorts of other data to try and pinpoint the areas of distribution sites, areas where people are manufacturing this and cutting fentanyl into other types of products," Kim said. "Our law enforcement is certainly engaged and we're trying to give them more tools and resources but we also know it's going to have to be a comprehensive solution. There's no single law enforcement way out of this crisis the same way there's no mental health way out of this crisis."
Kim is hoping for all different areas and fields of expertise to come together and find a solution for all.