Towns that dread sundown: The Spring 2017 edition

The heroin addition is real.. There are some detractors who decry that too much attention is being giving to the scourge on the rural landscape of the United States. But those dealing with the effects of drug abuse understand just how deep the nightmare scenario is.. just how real it has become. Just how horrid of a condition it creates for families, torn apart by drugs and law enforcement, and having to struggle and cope with a lifetime of addiction and pain.

I have used this image before.. it’s from the famous movie about true crime in Texarkana.. but the title and image somehow symbolize the current state of addiction. A faceless killer.. a quaint town.. a skyline with beauty.. and the fear of nightmare because of the urban and rural terrors of reality that await.

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Just a few tidbits as reminders of what is occurring as towns across the nation, those that fear the addictions and overdoses that sundown brings, enter a rebirth of spring:

Coming to grips in York PA:  Some state lawmakers, including Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and a Republican state representative from Luzerne County, are pushing for the expansion of drug courts as a key tool in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic that claimed more than 100 lives in York County in 2016. But there’s at least one big hurdle: Money.

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Delaware nightmare: 4 dead from heroin overdoses in just one day in New Castle county..  “Each fatality occurred in separate locations in Wilmington, Newark and Claymont, said Officer First Class JP Piser, a spokesman with the New Castle County Police Department. While the cause of death for each person has yet to be determined by the state Division of Forensic Science, they all have one thing in common: heroin.”

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Colorado: Pot is not enough for many, as the heroin battle continues..  “We continue to see heroin much more than I ever have in my 20 years with the department,” said Bill Linn, assistant chief at the Aspen Police Department. “Back when I started with the department, we never saw heroin, and now it just continues to build. We’ve really started to really hear about it over the past five years.”

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Ohio (and lots of other places) are recognizing the problem: Newborn bundles of joy are coming with an addiction:    Hospitals are becoming flooded with cases of newborns addicted to heroin in Ohio, where the opioid epidemic is also causing a sharp spike in the number of children in foster care. Social services in the greater Cincinnati region are sounding the alarm on the damage the opioid epidemic is having on children. Officials at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report a 14-fold increase in the number of newborns suffering from heroin or other opioid related withdrawals since 2009 at hospitals in the Greater Cincinnati region. Roughly 3.3 percent of babies born in the region are exposed to opioids while in the womb, reports WCPO. Of the 814 babies exposed to opioids during pregnancy last year, 315 required extended hospital treatment for serious withdrawal symptoms.

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Springtime is the season of renewal.. rebirth.. hope.. But I fear, with the addiction crisis in the United States–especially communities facing high unemployment and hopelessness, this is a new year of the same old.. the same old fears.. the same old problems.

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And towns that fear sundown all across the fruited plain..

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