I debated posting this blog at all. Does it fit on a working mother’s blog? Would it offend readers? Or would it anger and sadden them, as it did me?
In fact, I began this post last night and then, sickened and saddened by the content of the Oprah show I watched, I erased it.
I didn’t have the stomach to type out the words that might try to begin to tell the story I saw on the television screen.
Nightline featured the same story about the same town last night, which I taped and watched. Again, my stomach turned.
Richland, Ohio, home to about a hundred thousand people, is a community that appears from the outside to be one of those communities in which you might want to one day raise your children. In fact, if you are seeking a place to move and you don’t know a lot about it other than photos, you’d probably be pretty excited about what it has to offer. Open land spaces, pretty red barns, cute little houses. Small city outside of the larger Columbus. America’s heartland.
Yet Richland has a problem: Heroin. Lisa Ling exposed that numerous of the townspeople are addicted to heroin. In fact, it almost seems like an epidemic in this small town, where the police can’t keep up with those doing the drug and there are no rehab or detox facilities in sight.
My first thought was this: Heroin? Are you kidding me? It made me shudder. I believe that times have changed and I have not been paying attention.
Seems in Richland, heroin has made its way into middle America. And if it can happen that easily there, can it happen that easily everywhere? Has it already?
Why heroin? According to the show, it is cheaper than many prescription drugs and apparently pretty easy to get.
The couple featured on Oprah had three children. The husband stated he once made about a hundred thousand per year. They had a home and several cars. I lived in a small town in West Virginia for a long time. This amount of money would be a lot for these people. Now, this family doesn’t have a television; it has been sold to feed their habit. They drive one hour each way to Columbus, jeopardizing not only the other people on the roadways but their own thirteen month old child, who rides with them, to buy their drugs. They do the drugs and then drive back. Daily.
Yet they aren’t the only ones. Apparently, this is not all that uncommon in this town, where the addictions basically got started by pain medication, which was actually more expensive than heroin to purchase.
I know that teaching children about alcohol and drugs has always been a scary obstacle that parents must tackle, and I’m sure that it only gets worse the older that the children get. I cringe when I think about my girls being high school aged and wanting to go to the mall at night, to the movies, to a party.