No easy answers to addiction problems: Readers React

1:30 AM, Nov. 2, 2013  |  Comments
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Let's face it: We are in a treatment crisis, especially when it comes to adolescents. Until we both reduce the demand for this drug and stop our teens and young adults from making that one bad decision, we cannot win this fight.

We need to go beyond education to examine factors in the environment that increase risk. Uniform opiate-prescribing policies, Good Samaritan laws and greater utilization of Narcan is just a start - but it's a start.

- Melissa Dotter, coordinator, Drug Free Communities Program

The overdose antidote Narcan should be in the hands of our police and first responders. Some of the drug users already have it themselves, and according to a recent Daily Herald Media expose, drug users will sit in groups using heroin and designate a guy who holds the Narcan just in case a co-druggie overdoses. This antidote in the hands of emergency crews is better than in the hands of an addict.

If we know so much heroin is coming into our community, let's boost the undercover police work to shut it down. Shut it down with reckless abandon and authority. Letting the problem smolder is only going to make it worse.

- Doug Diny

Some people say something must be done, but drug prohibition hasn't solved any problems and has created many new ones. Heroin addiction was an occasional personal health problem before the government made it a societal problem. I wonder to what extent the marijuana laws are driving people looking for a high to harder drugs. It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for themselves.

- Jim Maas

Narcan allows addicts to take as much heroin as they want with zero consequences or worries of an overdose. How does that help beat addiction? It encourages them to use more, not less.

- Chris Filtz

There are no easy answers here. It is abundantly clear that the way we are approaching heroin at this point is not working and is unsustainable. We need to shift from a more punitive approach to one that includes more treatment alternatives.

Many of the people who become involved in illegal drug use start with prescription drugs legally obtained. Maybe it is time look at what doctors are prescribing.

- Matt Powers

Legislation that is needed can be more rapidly achieved at the municipal level. Local ordinances need to be examined to create successful barriers between places where minors come together (schools, churches, parks) and places like taverns and methadone centers.

I am a 43-year resident of Wausau who spent 25 years working with dangerous mental health and alcohol and drug situations. Last month, I did not get out of my car to use the bathroom at Oak Island because of the dangerous-looking women I saw there.

What will it cost to make the necessary changes? And what will it cost not to?

- Sandra Grass

You need to air the real deal on the news. Someone who can show you what it does, how it works and what comes from it. Here in our town. Show the youth it's not worth losing your life.

- Jill Marie Jacobson

Family intervention is what's needed. But the problem is so many who do drugs got their start from their family.

- Leah Traska

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