The Opioid Crisis

From Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post. “No longer ‘Mayberry’: A small Ohio city fights an epidemic of self-destruction”.

“Now you can get heroin quicker in these communities than you can get a pizza,” said Teri Minney, head of the Ross County Heroin Partnership Project. “They’re delivering.”

The addicts often shoot up in public places knowing that if they overdose they will be seen and potentially revived by police or paramedics carrying naloxone, the anti-overdose medication, also known by the brand name Narcan. One day in September, police and paramedics responded to 13 separate overdose calls, including one fatality: a man who died in an apartment right on Main Street. Meanwhile, a woman overdosed in her car as it idled at a Valero gas station with her 2-year-old daughter in the back seat. On that single day, seven children in the county were taken into government custody.

“It’s the Zombie Apocalypse,” says Gabis, the coroner.

The county’s health commissioner, Tim Angel, says he sees multiple generations of addicts now. He’ll ask a young patient who has come in for treatment, “How did you get involved in this?” and the answer will be, “My mother shot me up for my birthday when I was 14.”

Imagine if the President focused half as much energy trying to ameliorate the opioid crisis as he does immigrants.

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