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- COLUMN: Anguished Life of An Addict's Parent
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GUEST COLUMN/OPINION: Another Young Woman "Murdered" by Heroin
So what now? Another child grows up without a mother? Another mother stands at the grave of her daughter? Does anything change in terms of the Huntington- Detroit chain? Will a leader emerge and boldly proclaim that enough is enough? Or will residents shrug their shoulders and say that there is one less junkie in our city?
Meagan was very sick. She had overdosed on drugs three weeks ago. She wanted to quit. She stayed at her good friend Joseph’s residence and was attempting to break free of heroin's crushing grip.
Joseph recognizes the plight of drug addicts. He understands that they are sick people who are more than just addicts, but parents, siblings, sons or daughters, and friends.
Joseph offers a kind word, a helping hand, a hot meal, and relief from the cold. He was confident that Meagan was getting better. She probably was. But heroin has a crushing grip. It never let's go.
In fact, it is very likely that it was the fact that she was getting better that may have played a role in her death. Heroin users don't realize that their tolerance to drugs decreases when they quit using. The same amount of drugs that got them comfortably numb months or weeks before can kill them after a long absence from drugs.
Drug addicts are sick...but can be cured. Rehabs can easily cost $1,800 a day. Sometimes there is help available to get into a rehab but sometimes there isn't. Our community can help by being understanding and lending an empathetic ear or helping hand.
Sometimes addicts can be saved, sometimes they can't.
Maybe the difference between a city with a drug epidemic and one that doesn't have a drug problem is that a successful community lends more of a helping hand instead of turning a cold shoulder.
Editor’s Note: The City has several clinics for drug rehab, including the controversial use of methadone to diminish the effects of getting off opioids. The Huntington Treatment Center is at 135 Fourth Avenue, and the Ultimate Treatment Center is located at 2154 Carter Avenue, Ashland, Ky. (http://www.methadone.us/huntington-methadone-clinics)
Other substance abuse rehab is available at Prestera Addiction Recovery Center (PARC/ Detox, http://www.prestera.org) and The Healing Place, 2425 Ninth Avenue (twelve step/peer recovery).
As this is published, the official toxicology report had not yet been released on Meagan's cause of death.