To the Editor,
On Sunday, February 28th there was an article reporting eight suspected heroin overdoses since the past weekend in Lehigh County. Eight overdoses. Eight deaths. Eight tragedies. It was reported these deaths may be related to a “bad batch” of synthetic opioids containing fentanyl. A bad batch? Can someone define for me what is a good batch of opioids? We have quickly learned that use of opioids provides only tragedy, sorrow and often—death.
Of course our thoughts and sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of these eight victims. And yes, they’re victims, no matter whether they were addicted or casual users. Regardless they all suffered from the same disease of drug usage. Of course the suffering caused by opioids is not limited to Lehigh County, it’s just this particular article focused there. Truly opioid abuse is endemic in each of our state’s 67 counties!
But what about the unmentioned people, the dealers who killed eight people with one “bad batch”? This is mass murder, not just the unfortunate deaths of eight individuals.
Opioid use/abuse/addiction (pick one, several or all three) is all around us—in our social circles, in schools (reportedly as young as grade school), at work, and so forth. You get it—it’s everywhere.
As a civil society we can no longer sit by and pretend that opioids aren’t everywhere in our society. Of course opioids are everywhere, or these eight people would not have died. And this is just one example over one weekend. Hundreds will die in our state, and thousands in our nation, this year due to opioid use.
If there has ever been a clarion call for civic action, it must be this scourge of opioids. It is time for parents, teachers, civic leaders, law enforcement, government, church—everyone to stand up collectively and say enough is enough.
The solution starts with each of us, all of us, not just one of us or a few of us. Lock your medicine cabinets, control your prescription drugs. It is time for all of us to join together and fight back, and education about the problem is a great place to start–talk to your loved ones about the dangers of opioid use.
Senator, 24th District
Majority Caucus Chair
CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen firstname.lastname@example.org (215) 541-2388