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Unleash community’s greatness

I would like to share my thoughts on our drug crisis in our community.

I don’t believe addiction is a choice. More like they have fallen victim to a way of life. Does our wonderful community truly believe our victims of addiction want to live in pain, crime, no self worth, losing family trust, failed marriages, losing their children, homeless, jobless and no dignity?

Yes, their addiction affects us ALL, in one way or another. They lie, steal and cheat, with no regard to others, that’s the addict!

Nothing seems to be working on getting a hold, on this crisis. There is more and more anger, and less compassion. Sending them to jail, or home confinement, is just a waste of our tax dollars. We have treatment centers, not enough. We have mental health providers, not enough. It took years for this to riddle our community, it will take years, to rehabilitate. Our community has now stereotyped people walking with backpacks, as no gooders. Citizens are afraid to sit on their front porches, due to being approached by a homeless individual. Parents are afraid of taking their kids to parks, because of dirty needles. We have neighborhoods who want to become vigilantes. We have become prisoners of our homes, fearing our property will be a target of crime.

Our community NEEDS education on addiction. With some knowledge, may come compassion. Public shaming is not the solution. Until one knows the symptoms, cures cannot be implemented. Every addict, every homeless individual, has a story. Our community needs to understand that, and come together, and begin the process of helping those who need us.

It takes a community to raise a child, why can’t the community save some lives?

We need a community forum with health officials, law enforcement, treatment facilities, and recovered addicts, to educate the community. With an understanding of their illness, we can come together, and make change, in how we respond and think.

We need to start somewhere.

There is so much greatness in our community, it just needs to be unleashed.

Laws and ordinances need to be changed or implemented. We need more help on the streets, to identify and help those who need it. We need to provide them with on going help. We just NEED to do something.

Thank you for taking the time to read my feelings and thoughts.

Debbie Jeffrey

Parkersburg

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