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Heroin: The dangers affect us all

By Staff | Apr 15, 2016

I?must admit that I had become immune to the words of the stories written and told about the dangers of heroin use and the many overdoses and deaths of young people in our community. Like many of you, I’m sure, upon reading the paper and seeing yet another headline touting the prevalence of the problem, my eyes skimmed over and moved on.

I had no one I?knew who was in danger of this dangerous drug affecting their life, let alone taking it. It was not going to make any difference in my life.

Little did I know how quickly all that would change.

As I?awoke last Saturday morning in the pre-dawn hours of Athens time, my only thought was preparing for the flight home and having to return to the “real world.” Then those words from my sister’s message came asking me when I was getting home. Her next words took my breath away as she broke the news of her son’s death across the computer lines continents away.

Suddenly, the heroin epidemic was all too real and there were no words to speak of comfort or even understanding. How could a vibrant, beautiful 24-year-old man be there one minute and gone the next?

This devasting drug that has infiltrated our country–our communities far and wide–offers no sense for the havoc in its wake. There is no justifying or explaining the finality of this drug gone wrong.

After a flight home and a few hours sleep, off I went to Tennessee where the use of this drug and its devastating affects run rampant just as they do here in Berkeley and Jefferson counties. The young people (and perhaps some not so young) have no idea if the last shot, dose…whatever the terminology is…will be their last. I’m sure that Chase did not dream that death would be the result. Certainly none of us expected that call–especially my sister and her husband.

They now are left, as are so many, to try to piece back together an existence where once there was a living, breathing child who is now only a memory.

We are naive if we believe that this epidemic cannot touch each and every one of us. Don’t be like I was, skiming the news stories but not paying attention. It is a problem that affects us all and it is necessary for us all to come together to attempt to eliminate it. I have no answers on how to do that–I just know it doesn’t simply “happen to someone else.” It can and does affect us all.

Heroin: The dangers affect us all