Helping addicts is our duty

For several months now I have been watching the news, reading the paper and talking to folks in our community, and it appears we are under siege with drug labs, drug selling and even more tragic, drug overdosing, resulting in death. I commend law enforcement, politicians and hospitals for their effort in attempting to get this epidemic under somewhat control, but drugs are never going away.

There is no simple answer or solution to help these folks understand there are better ways to live their life. I feel they are choosing this lifestyle because they do not know how to communicate their feelings. Are they trying to forget painful situations, are they in physical pain, is it peer pressure or environment? I know there are support groups and medical facilities for them to turn to, but most often they only go when it is court ordered or forced upon them and they just go through the motions. I feel the community people; neighbors, store merchants, employers, churches and family need to be proactive in early intervention.

I believe there is good in everyone and just because they are choosing to harm themselves does not mean they are bad. They are lost and need a friend, they need to know it’s OK to talk without judgment, that it’s never too late to start a new beginning, and that someone cares. Until they confront what haunts them and begin to like who they are, this epidemic is not going to slow down.

We as a community need to start somewhere. A town or city hall meeting would be a great place for folks to come and listen to mental health workers, law enforcement, recovered addicts and support group volunteers This is a community problem, therefore we all need to participate for change. We have to plant a seed to grow a flower. If we have a willing community to step up and reach out to one person that needs a helping hand, then we did our job! If a group of community members that are committed, ambitious, creative and understanding, could come together and work together, we just might begin to make a difference.

I believe there is good in everyone and some may need a second chance. I hope this letter will grab the attention of someone who supports or agrees with how I feel. A community that works together, grows together.

Debbie Jeffrey

Washington, W.Va.