Eastern Oklahoma was devastated last week when a mother tried to kill all 3 of her teen children. Two of them are dead, today.
Many narratives were offered and some were completely debunked.
Over the weekend a new narrative emerged and this one is causing a second guessing by those who followed the opioid crackdown laws, last spring. It's not certain that drug addiction impacted the double homicide, but here's another narrative worth pondering..
On Thursday, Nov. 1st, a series of draconian opioid laws took effect. At sunrise a mother shot her 3 kids.
Pat Campbell of KFAQ radio told listeners on Monday morning that "all the kids at the Beggs high school knew exactly what led to the double homicide." The mother, Campbell said; was hooked on opioids and "the kids posted a 'snapchat' video of themselves crushing up mom's pills". The kids at school knew this narrative even before the shootings.
The new opioid laws were heavily lobbied for by the 'law & order' crowd at the capitol. They generally believe that the heavy hammer of tough laws will change any person's behavior, if enforced aggressively.
The Okmulgee sheriff's dept. likely has observable insights about this narrative, since the woman has been in the county jail since just hours after the shootings. The withdrawal symptoms for an addict are hard to cover up.
Drug addiction consumes the consciousness of those caught in the snare of heavy physiological dependency. And if the addiction came from a severe chronic pain condition, then the frantic mindset is even more consuming. Suicides are being reported in many states that made this concerted effort to change the addict's behavior via new prohibition laws.
Over the past couple months, many pain management physicians have enacted very severe changes in how they care for the chronic pain sufferers. Many are refusing to continue caring for as many as half their current patients. Some clinics are completely ending their pain management practices or switching to other forms of health care practice. The laws are also very threatening to doctors who may compassionately skirt the new laws for their most critical patients.
Those who ascribe to the "get tough on crime" mindset are quick to label detractors as "soft on crime" for suggesting there are other ways to accomplish better outcomes. The state of Oklahoma now combines the Dept. of Mental Health with the Substance Abuse Services agency. this is because the two conditions are often present with many individuals, and the mental state of addiction often causes a behavior which seems just as irrational to observers , as a mentally unstable person in an acute serious mental illness.
But those whose mental illness is getting worse, often turn to various drugs (especially liquor) to deal with the disturbing behavior. Stigma often keeps them from seeking professional help or even confiding to trusted family & friends.
And a large segment of the population, including law enforcement; cannot comprehend the mindset and behavior of those without a stable mind. These people expect anyone to be able to "snap out of it". and shape up. They are the ones who do more harm than good, in many times of crisis. And law enforcement training focuses heavily on the "bad dudes" who will only succumb to a greater show of force. But in a mental health crisis, this same training actually escalates conditions to a deadly situation. For this reason many specialized training teams are providing "Crisis Intervention Training", to prepare law enforcement to identify the difference between sheer obstinance and a mentally confused state. NAMI(National Association on Mental Illness) in Oklahoma is actively assisting law enforcement in many efforts to better train cops and help suffering individuals get the intervention that they need; before tragedy occurs.