|By The Janesville Gazette, Wis.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
--Recovering heroin addict, age 20, in 2009
Five years after Gazette reporter
In a more compassionate light, perhaps these families are admitting they never imagined heroin could victimize their brothers or sisters, sons or daughters.
Lux again detailed "Heroin's heartbreak" last Sunday. The numbers should startle everyone. Chief Deputy/Acting Coroner
Two hundred and fifty one.
A stunning 64 died in 2012 alone. At least 20 succumbed last year, and 13 more cases await final toxicology reports. So far this year, 26 deaths and another 10 suspected.
Parents should talk about the dangers with their children, and some do. Teachers must repeatedly stress the risks to students. Law enforcement must root out traffickers. Doctors must prescribe powerful pain medicines carefully.
These conversations and efforts should continue. This highly addictive drug, however, is still shattering more families each month. Even if your family isn't affected, addicts steal property to pay for heroin, and these crimes affect us all.
It's time for united action. Our leaders should call a community summit.
Werner presides over
"I don't think there can ever be enough conversation, especially among the people who can make a difference: the courts, law enforcement, treatment providers and those advising young people in the schools," he told Lux.
He hopes Smit's numbers open eyes.
Spoden warns adults to lock up prescription painkillers and properly dispose of leftovers because kids will steal and experiment with them at parties. Through experimentation, people get hooked on painkillers and turn to cheap and easy-to-get heroin.
That's what happened to
Fear of withdrawal hindered his recovery attempts. The lack of a residential treatment center in
He died with a needle in his arm
Werner agrees the lack of a residential treatment center here is "very problematic." Without one, addicts face waiting lists or find insurance won't pay for treatment elsewhere. Some don't want to enter facilities and might be even more reluctant if they're many miles from supportive loved ones.
If the lack of such a facility is a glaring gap, a community summit might focus attention on opening one.
We cannot wait any longer.
(c)2014 The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.)
Visit The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.) at www.gazetteextra.com
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