Impact in Ashtabula County

Is heroin affecting you? Ask again.

It nearly kills me to live and breathe what I know and I only know so little. People live their lives everyday not having a clue what is going on around them spiritually and physically. Our county is being taken over by drugs. It is in the paper everyday and it isn’t noticed. The police reports are filled with it even though the word is not used only the symptoms of it. It use to be Meth and now it is heroin. The choice of drug changes and some become less popular while there is still some use going on but heroin is prevalent right now. It is going to get worse because Ashtabula County does not have the resources to handle it. They don’t have the police funding and they don’t have the recovery programs needed to help even the ones that want help. The TAG only have one officer in Ashtabula County and there are more people than beds in our recovery centers. All these drug issues overflow into the lives of people that are working and living in Ashtabula County. The other agencies such as Job and Family Services and Children’s Services all feel the impact.

There have been three overdose that resulted in death just in the Ashtabula/Conneaut area in Nov/Dec and that is only what I know of and I don’t have the connections to know this. I believe for some reason it was providence that I have heard about it this time. I have heard that the heroin is purer than normal currently which is one reason that a person can overdose because their system is use to having heroin that is laced with other ingredients. According to statistics, the overdoses we hear about are few. Statistics say there are many that result in death and then many more that end up in the hospital that make it “this time”.

Many of the addicts don’t want to be the way they are but by their own choice they have made the bad choice to give it a try and have been taken over by the drug. They need resources to help them. The resources would cost the community less that fighting the crime, arresting them and locking them up just to turn them loose to go back into their old lifestyle. They don’t know anything else. The services involved are trying to provide better alternatives to retrain them to be functional citizens but the funds and resources are limited.

Read the paper and listen to the news and ask yourself if this incident could be drug related. Chances are it is. The Star Beacon runs an article about the sentencing of a dealer who sold heroin to a mother that died last year. This ran on the same day that a funeral was taking place of another mother that died of an overdose of heroin this year. Where are the arrests of the dealers that sold heroin to the other ones that have overdosed. People need to open their eyes and do something. It affects the economy, our safety,  health and future of our children, our county’s image and many other facets of our community. You can’t put blame anywhere. It is affecting all economic levels, the rich and poor and every level in between. It affects all races, school systems, and ages. It may be your child, your parent and yes your grandparent that is using drugs. It may be your neighbor, your employer or employee, the person waiting on you in the store or restaurant. Employers are affected. They have trouble keeping people if they drug test and they have other issues if they don’t. It can be your coworker on the assembly line with you or sitting in the office beside you. If you said, “No” the drug epidemic does not affect me, I am sorry to say but it does and it will. It is everywhere. There are no boundaries for this drug. People need to open their eyes and ask what they can do. Together this country could be changed. It will change – let’s do our part to change it for the better and not let it change for the worse.


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