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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Maybe "Fix the Scioto County" Has Outlived Its Purpose

It's been a hard run during the four or five months the "Fix the Scioto County Facebook" group has been in existence. I feel, without enumerating and describing every twist and turn, the group has done some excellent work to call attention to the problems associated with drug abuse. It pains me to see the lack of mass reaction to events we have held, and I sometimes wonder if anywhere near a majority of citizens in Scioto County are willing to do any more to help the cause than say, "I support the group's efforts to improve the health epidemic in Southern Ohio known as prescription drug abuse." We know over 3,400 citizens have taken the pledge to join the group.

I see the group as a means for other people to utilize as an education tool, an information sharing tool, a contact tool, and a tool for action. Unfortunately, some would like to see the pressure-influence aspect of the group go away or turn strictly religious in nature. Conversely, others crave more action from law enforcement now, at a time when financial support and employment cuts prohibit this. Still others are comfortable with messages, meetings, displays, and such, but are not in favor of speaking out to those who view addicts as dirty, unworthy people. I fear it is near time to extinguish the group.

Striking a balance with people who hold numerous concerns about the #1 problem that faces our town is not easy. Attitudes and actions taken by the group must range from outrage about senseless drug-related murders to compassion for victims presently struggling with severe addiction. To be one voice, a group needs people committed to many different strategies, not just to one aid to a solution. For example, I'm sure a person's attitude and reaction differs if he lives worlds away from the terrible pressures of drug dealings as opposed to one who must live next door to a dealer and suffer constant harassment. 

My deepest regret is that the multi-diverse group cannot awaken a spirit of activism and urgency in the community. Somehow, people believe that God, in His divine mercy, will triumph over evil no matter how the populace responds. Although good intentioned, this idea quickly proves itself futile when crooks and scoundrels abound and profit in their devious endeavors. I believe strongly in God but I believe man has the free will to take God's course of action.

Others believe that just complaining about the same old community standards and policies will turn the tide. These people who are doing well with the status quo want no change that might cost them money or time. They are fairly well insulated from immediate threats of the epidemic and prefer to see it as "your problem," referring to the lower and lower-middle classes. Shock value has absolutely no effect on those with eyes on the dollar sign.

And, even others fall under the group of promisers, but.... These are the people who constantly say, "I'm so busy" or "I'd like to but" or "Sorry, I have more important matters to attend to." They are not civic-minded individuals but more self-centered people who believe as long as they control their lives, danger will not intrude. I'd like to have a dollar for every addiction story I've heard along these lines. You would be surprised who has been on illegal drugs to say the least.

My town? Maybe its final legacy is to be home of the pill billies and the graveyard of addiction. We are currently on pace for a record-setting prescription death yearly statistic. As the destruction draws ever closer, I pray the honest and active are spared misery, for, I believe, many of the dishonest and inactive will surely find novel ways to avoid
"getting their hands dirty." This remains an area of "old boys" and "Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Wake up, Scioto County, and do something about it. DO DO DO DO DO!!!!!!

A portion of a recent post from a friend:

David from Fargo, North Dakota wrote me to say, "I have been involved with drugs for 40 years. I left for here four years ago from Portsmouth to get off  oxys. That was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I spent some time in Prairie Psychiatric hospital, but as soon as I got out of the hospital, I went back on the oxys. Tried the methadone and suboxone but they didn't work. When I finally hit rock bottom, I went off the drugs myself. My son and nephew thought I was going to die. First I kicked the physical symptoms, then the psychological ones.

"I have lost more than ten friends to oxys. My best friend even died of a heart attack while on oxys. I lost my ex-wife to cancer, but, of course, she was on oxys. Then, on February 2008 my step granddaughter was beaten to death - she wasn't two yet. I would like to work with the DEA and narcotics unit to help this problem."

Post your message to David and I will see he gets it. He is willing to do any and everything to help Portsmouth with its drug problem.

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