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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Calling the Burg

Wheelersburg, Ohio appears to be Ground Zero for the Scioto County health epidemic. A major center of rx drug distribution for many years, Wheelersburg has long been awash in the deadly debris of abuse. The problems that exist in the Burg are no secret to area residents. They have rallied together and fought hard to extinguish the consuming fires of destruction, but the people still struggle with all the headaches and heartaches associated with prescription abuse. One word is sufficient to summarize the terrible plight of Wheelersburg -- Death.

I believe we need to exorcise publicly the demons that exist in the Burg. All of Scioto County is so dependent on this outstanding community in so many ways. We must put an end to untimely, pointless deaths. We must discuss the problems with specificity. And, we must educate all concerning healing actions that may be taken sooner as opposed to later. We lose lives with procrastination.

I want this post to be a positive call to revelation of truths and an opportune request for action by all citizens of Scioto County. I am not painting the Burg in a negative light to denigrate the community. In fact, as we all know, Wheelersburg remains an outstanding district full of the best Scioto has to offer. The schools, the people, the civic programs in the Burg are excellent. Unfortunately, some "bad apples" have unleashed untold terror and subjugation there. And, believe me, I understand this problem is inherent in every populace in Appalachia. The epidemic has no boundaries of districts or towns.

I propose that residents shed theirs fears and their reasons for keeping problems in the Burg "under wraps" and that they no longer find merely whispering their discontent sufficient for implementing change. Make no mistake, I abhor yellow journalism and the rags of publications that throw scandalous ungrounded stories at the masses. I am speaking, instead, of bringing to light first-hand facts and founded research. When the facts come together, officials can better attack all ills. I know many residents have pertinent information that can help.

I also ask all arms of enforcement, health, and government to respond as people from Wheelersburg come forward. It can be very frustrating to report information that seems to be ignored; however, the reality is that limitations do exist. I know that many folk are working countless hours to bring criminals to justice. Many times reports help build a case that requires unbelievable mountains of  evidence. The key here is having everyone work together with patience and mutual understanding. Each step in the right direction is a huge gain for everyone.

This post introduces a topic that I have long wished to raise. Some are tired of recent magnification of the rx drug epidemic. They believe it portrays our county as a horrible hell hole destined to fail. I feel just the opposite. The publicity has helped all of us in Scioto to consider how we can take further actions to implement needed positive change. So many positive steps have already been taken by concerned citizens and groups. Scioto County is getting better every day. I understand that terrible things still occur, but now we have many resources in place to deal with problems. We cannot stop working together. We cannot ignore the work ahead. We can not stop implementing programs that chip away at the infrastructure of rx abuse.

I hope soon to see a major Burg event created by the Scioto Task Force that solidifies the resolve of the entire county to take back our precious communities. We in the Task Force Action Team commit ourselves to continued improvement. For too long I have heard gossip and stories and blame. What is needed now is truth, proof, and justice. Deaths are not an option. Thanks to all in Wheelersburg willing to listen and to act.

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