Letter to the Editor

Writer suggests heroin problem in Clay County

Sunday, October 15, 2017

To the editor:

Clay County,

You have a problem. A problem that has been plaguing counties across Indiana for years and has claimed too many young lives. Clay County: You have a heroin problem.

While I could get into the wildly popular debate over whether addiction is a disease or a choice, thatís not my purpose for this letter. The sad truth is that in the time both sides have explained their position on this issue, a handful of people will have already died of a heroin overdose. Arguing the principle of addiction doesnít save lives. And neither does living in denial. The Indiana State Health Department reported that between 2011 and 2015, there was one fatal opiate overdose in Clay County. One in four years is below the state average even though the state as a whole saw a 60 percent increase in that same for years. However, the numbers for Clay County for 2016 and 2017 only promise to be grim.

Clay County: you have a problem and it is time to acknowledge it. Itís time for your county officials to adopt models from other similar counties who are having success in addressing this horrid epidemic. Itís time that this no longer be a hushed conversation and it is time that we consider the lives lost because of heroin to be more than people who just died unexpectedly.

Clay County: Itís time to speak up. To your elected officials, to your community, and especially to your loved ones. It is being bold enough to have those tough conversations that begins the solution and ultimately saves lives.

With Hope,

Kelli Jensen, formerly of Brazil