Admission of problem is first step to recovery

Bellefontaine is my hometown. For months now I have heard many stories about how the heroin epidemic is affecting this community. I have prayed about what I can do to help in cleaning this up. A couple days ago, my husband told me there was an article in the June 22 issue of Sports Illustrated I might want to read. A special report: “Smack epidemic: How painkillers are turning young athletes into heroin addicts.” I read it and realized one way I can help is to share this article.

Stories of young athletes who, due to sports injuries, were prescribed painkillers, became addicted to them and then the prescription ran out. The addiction, however, was in full force. So they resorted to the streets or “pill parties” looking for that high their body ached for. In doing so they discovered heroin was much cheaper and afforded them the same high. Several of the young people written about overdosed and died. Sadly, the article states, that families said they received  no warning from physicians about the addictive powers of painkillers.

Please read this informative article especially if you are  parent of a young person. Read it, then have them read it, then talk about it.

Heroin is killing an incredible number of young people daily. I read heartbreaking stories every day of the tragedy brought on by this drug. I believe in order to put a stop to  this, we must first educate ourselves about this drug and the disease called addiction. We need to drop the typical mindsets and ideas of who an addict is. Look at the SI article. Are the faces you see there what you imagine an addict looks like? Sadly, as this epidemic continues, these faces are becoming the faces of the stereotypical addict.

Heroin is like a spree killer in our communities and needs to be treated as such. As the number of heroin deaths increase, if you don’t already know someone affected or who has died due to it, you will. Heroin does not just cripple and/or take down the addict, it takes with it the families, friends ad communities of its initial victim and we all suffer from the destruction it leaves behind.

Please read the article. Please educate yourself to this epidemic. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is true. And it will take that same village to turn this around and save them.

As with addiction, the first step to successful recovery is admitting there is a problem. I believe in my heart that individually and as a community we need to first admit there is a problem. And then seek out ways to successfully be clean again.

Robin Barton