U.S. Drug Czar Jim Carroll admits, he's not fond of the term "opioid crisis."
"Because really, what we have is an addiction crisis," he said. "That's opioids today, I'm very concerned it's going to be meth tomorrow."
The Director of the National Drug Control Policy joined two local round table discussions Friday to hear from doctors, pharmacists, prosecutors, police and even former drug addicts. Among the issues considered: drug prosecution, trafficking, prevention, treatment, and education.
"We can't arrest our way out of this problem. But, we can't just treat our way out of it or we can't prevent our way out of this. We've got to do all three," said Carroll.
The round table discussions were hosted by Republican Congressman John Joyce. The meetings were held in Chambersburg, Franklin County and Gettysburg, Adams County.
"Bringing the lead, the Drug Czar, to our community allows our community members to interface with him so this information is taken back to Washington to understand the strong impact of the drug crisis in our community," said Rep. Joyce. He added, south central Pennsylvania has seen a slight decrease of opioids but concurrently it has seen a rise in meth. "We need to work with education. We need to stop the influx. And, we need to work with treatment," said Joyce.
Carroll said he understands prevention is one of the key issues in the battle. He also believes more treatment help is needed especially in small communities that may not have as many treatment options.
"We've launched a new website: findtreatment.gov. It allows anyone to go on completely anonymously," he said.
Carroll added, he too has a family member who is in recovery. As for his position as drug czar, he said, "that's why I took the job."