Letter to the Editor: Heroin, an Epidemic on the Rise

Heroin, an epidemic on the rise. In one way or another we are all affected by the heroin epidemic that seems to be running rampant here in Northeast Ohio and is spreading like wildfire throughout the country. The Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team tells us that from the years 2000 to 2012 the increase in drug overdose deaths has increased 366 percent with the drug of choice changing dramatically from prescription opioids to heroin (Borchardt 2016).

As a state and as a nation we have yet to truly understand the devastating effects that this dramatic increase in lethal drug use is going to have on our nation, our state, our communities and within our own families. One way or another we are all affected by this, whether it be friends, family or an acquaintance, we all know someone who is struggling with addiction. As a nation we are facing this problem and with the recent events coming out of East Liverpool have been put in the spotlight for the struggles that we are facing to contain this epidemic and protect our children from devastating psychological trauma.

We can no longer sit idly by and watch this epidemic destroy the things we hold dear; it is time for action. With the increasing availability of heroin and the decreasing cost of that heroin, if this problem is not contained the consequences will be catastrophic. Although Gov. Kasich has recently passed the “911 Good Samaritan Law” it is not enough, not by a long shot (Massatti 2014). We need more than protection for people who call for medical assistance for those who are overdosing; we need real solutions on how to stop the overdoses. Gov. Kasich, we are drowning, and we need a life boat.

Kyle Marshall, Student

Youngstown State University