I am writing to thank you for your recent story (“‘Whole new demon’: Fentanyl deaths soar, and recovery is harder,” The Herald, April 10) written by Claudia Yaw and photographed by Kevin Clark. Being an advocate for the homeless and addicted, I applaud your first-hand reporting and the excellent photography. This story really captures the essence of the problem, but the source goes deeper. Many who are not on the front lines of dealing with this problem tend to turn their heads and consider the addicted to be lost causes who are not capable of recovery and who made this choice. It is far easier to look away than to try to find solutions.
But each one of these individuals is someone’s child or adult child. Many are someone’s mother or father. The fact is, teenagers try things, often without thinking it through, and today’s street drugs are way more addictive and lethal than when the previous generations tried a little alcohol or pot. Then a little heroin. Fentanyl is a dead end. This story does an excellent job of pointing out the dangers.
Looking the other way when young people want to party and so easily find themselves inextricably hooked is deadly. It could be your grandchild or the kid down the street.
Dr. Gabor Mate from Vancouver, B.C., who has worked with the addicted all his life, says that those who become addicted have been traumatized as children, one way or another.
Is it time to take a look at how to nurture our children and bond with them, so that when we point out dangers, they will listen? Is it time to provide more exciting things for teens to do than ‘mess up your head’ for fun? Is it time to provide better examples through living clean and serving others?
The government is not going to turn this around. This is another front where the people need to take control.