I love my job! I come to the office and get paid for doing what I love doing. It sure beats making 135 quartz bulbs per hour! This past month has been eye opening regarding the needs of our communities. Seneca and Wyandot counties – the two counties in which Mental Health and Recovery Services levies exist – met with board staff and members from their respective counties to present proposals for local levy funding for the July 2014-June 2015 fiscal year. In almost every proposal, the focus was on our youngsters.
Let me tell you what I see from the office. On March 22, a team from Franklin County came to Upper Sandusky to share their Operation Street Smarts program. This was not intended for youth; it was for parents and grandparents to learn what is out on the streets, and how our children are hiding it from us. The statistics they shared knocked us out of our seats! The United States is 4.6 percent of the world’s population – and yet – we consume 99 percent of all Vicodin in the world; we consume 50 percent of all cocaine in the world; we consume 80 percent of all opioids in the world. In Ohio, 11 people die each week from heroin overdose. And our kids hear in their music how “cool” it is to use this crap!
I hear these numbers and ask WHY? A person is prescribed a painkiller for an injury or after surgery, and before you know it, they are addicted to that medication. Who is to blame? The doctor who should have asked if they WANT opiate-containing medication or can they tough it out with something less effective (but it won’t grab onto them and not let them go). Is the person to blame because they didn’t see the dependency beginning and they kept pursuing their next dose? The pills got too expensive so they turned to heroin, which is now cheaper than a six-pack of beer. I don’t have the answer; do you?
I do, however, have an opinion of what should happen to every person who ever sells heroin. While most of the United States’ supply of heroin comes from Mexico, some of it comes from Afghanistan. You know, the country to which we are sending our men and women to defend us from the evil forces we are told exist in Afghanistan. Not having been to the country, and not personally knowing an Al Qaeda or Taliban person, I have to believe what returning soldiers say about the threat to our country.
We probably all personally know the woman whose daughter or the man whose son got hooked on heroin. The heroin dealer – in my opinion – should be classified as a terrorist! They are buying and selling a drug that comes from an enemy that uses the money to fund their war against our men and women. It’s bad enough our loved ones are coming home with extreme physical injuries and PTSD, but those who never left the United States are being assaulted with life altering drugs. I know that our men and women make choices, and it is beyond me why they choose to use heroin, but we have got to get control of this! Let’s get serious about the dealers first, and the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board will keep on trying to help our loved ones overcome this scourge.
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. It now has a website, www.mhrsbssw.org, and a link to our Facebook page. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays. The board’s funded hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.
Nancy A. Cochran,