Most of this information came from a town hall meeting I attended, but some things I learned from another source.
- Last year, 16 people died of a heroin overdose in my county of 40,000. At least nine – and maybe as many as 12 — have died of a heroin overdose this year.
- Narcan, since it is subsized by federal and/or state funds costs about $3 a shot locally. Narcan is used to revive a overdose victim.
- During the town hall meeting, an officer told the story of an individual in the county who overdosed twice in one day. The person’s life was saved for $6 unless they received multiple injections — then their life was spared for less than $50.
- Not all the officers in my community carry Narcan.
- Our Common Pleas Court is beginning to mandate Vivitrol injections as a condition of probation. Vivitrol is taken every 28 days and blocks a person’s ability to get high on heroin.
- Several recovering heroin addicts mentioned, in passing, that their introduction to illicit drugs was marijuana.
- Multiple recovering addicts credited Jesus with curing their addiction.
- A local student held a fundraiser then donated the $1,500 or so generated to help teach prevention methods. The student, and others in her group, have family members dealing with addiction.
- Building connections with family and tbe community can help break the addiction cycle.
- One recovering addict’s message bears repeating (and repeating): We are good people, we just made bad choices.
I debated on whether to go to the meeting, (It was cold and windy. I was tired and grouchy) but I’m glad I did. Seeing the crowd, and community leaders, gave me hope that this can be solved.