September 2016 Staff Editorial: Combating heroin


Sydney Evans

In recent months a heroin epidemic has spread across Cincinnati, casting a shadow of death in the area. The area has been plagued by deaths of not only people of every background and race who overdosed but also other victims who have been affected by heroin users. Victims of accidents on l-71 and l-75 have been hurt by the epidemic, even though they are not directly involved in heroin usage. The disease has affect people so profoundly and spread to so many.

Ohio broke the record for the most deaths due to drug overdoses in 2015 with 3,050 people. One-third of those deaths were caused by fentanyl, an opiate that is often mixed with heroin. The heroin epidemic is painfully obvious and evident in our community.

That being said, we must consider how the problem can be combated rather than just the fact that the problem exists.

The debate has been waged between people who believe users should be punished and sentenced to prison and others who believe that rehabilitation centers are more effective solutions.

Heroin does not discriminate; victims of heroin usage come from all demographics and socioeconomic statuses. Do not ignore this issue and think that it could not happen to you or someone you love. Heroin does not care who you are, who your parents are, where you are going to college or what dreams you have for the future. It also does not care whether it is your sibling or friend that it takes grasp over.

Recovery also does not discriminate. Those who have fallen under the shadow of addiction have the ability to reclaim their lives.

Heroin users are defined by more than their addictions, and they should be treated as people rather than addicts.

They need hope; they need to believe that they have the strength and the opportunity to dig themselves out of their addictions. We cannot treat them as helpless cases. We must help.

By aiding these addicts we help heal the community that heroin has threatened to tear apart. Only then can we as a community begin our own rehabilitation from the threat that is heroin.