I commend The Blade for covering the heroin epidemic that affects Toledo and the nation (“Losing the war; Fight against heroin, opioids needs new strategies,” commentary, June 8). A comprehensive approach is necessary to combat the problem, but we must be careful not to portray the addict as a victim.
The addicts I come across every day made a choice to abuse prescription pain medication and moved on to stronger substances, namely heroin. Comparing the cost of treatment to the cost of incarceration is simplistic. An addict will face a lifetime struggle with addiction. That means multiple relapses and treatment.
Most addicts will resort to crime to support their habit. Addicts who have had few or no criminal records are turning to serial robberies and burglaries to support a heroin habit.
The comprehensive strategies proposed in the commentary ultimately will be financed by taxpayers. In the past few years, much of the money allocated by the federal government for drug prevention and treatment has dried up, because funds have been diverted elsewhere, such as to fighting two wars and addressing a recession.
Will taxpayers see spending on these strategies as a wise expenditure of their money, or choose to ignore dealing with the opioid problem, thinking it’s a matter of individual responsibility on the part of the addict?
Editor’s note: The writer is a Toledo Police Department lieutenant with experience in the force’s drug unit.
Focus must go to combat alcohol
The Blade sounded the alarm about heroin and other opioids on June 8 with a front-page commentary, an op-ed column, and an editorial.
But the same edition included an article praising small breweries (“A taste for success; Taprooms have been a real boon for area craft brewers”) and an article about how aesthetically pleasing black beer bottles are (“O-I says its black glass bottles are becoming its new green”).
Demon alcohol is still the scourge of this country. It has caused more broken homes, financial ruin, and emotionally crippled children than opioids ever will. Alcohol is the real gateway drug.
Time to turn back to original 10 laws
According to The Blade, we are losing the war against heroin. We also are losing the wars against violence, sex trafficking, pornography, and child abuse. The only war we are winning is the one against God, religion, and morality.
We take comfort in the deception that we can solve our problems with more laws. How has that worked so far?
A few thousand years ago, an old guy came down from a mountaintop with the only 10 laws we really need. Maybe we should read, teach, and follow them.