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Addressing rural Ohio’s drug epidemic

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rural Ohio has a heroin problem.The subject has been coming up more often lately in conversation and it even found its way into state policy for some of Ohio’s farm organizations. Heroin used to be considered more of an inner city drug, but now it is affecting the suburbs and rural areas of Ohio as well due to a number of factors.“This affects every rural community in the state of Ohio. Unlike other drug epidemics that we saw mostly focused in the cities, this is everywhere. It is in the suburbs and rural areas and it is many times more likely to be in the rural areas than in the cities. It kills four, five or six people a day in Ohio. It does not discriminate gender, race, income — everybody is susceptible to this. Your community has a heroin problem and you may not know it. It has swept across Ohio and we don’t know exactly why,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General. “The Mexican drug cartels have a great business model. They grow the poppies in Mexico and transport the heroin across our southern border and then market it very well. You can get heroin delivered to you as easy and quickly as buying a pizza. What starts as a $15 a day habit may go to a $1,500 a day habit. Late stage heroin addicts may need 100 times more heroin than an early stage addict. Around 90% of the crime in every county in the state of Ohio is caused directly or indirectly by drugs and there is no easy way to fix it.“We need to be doing a much better job with education and prevention. We have had a cultural change in Ohio. When I was a county prosecutor in the late 1970s in Greene County, heroin was something that was not very often in our rural areas and suburbs. There was some psychological barrier that stopped people from doing heroin. Today that barrier is flat and we have to put that barrier back up. That will take a grassroots effort in local communities to rise up and do something about this. This issue is so bad that I have six people on my staff focused on working at the local level and education, prevention and treatment.”Andrea Fox from rural Fairfield County has seen the devastating impact of heroin first hand.“My daughter was born with a congenital kidney defect. It wasn’t identified until she was around 12 and by then a lot of damage had been done. She has been in chronic pain for a good portion of her life. The doctors prescribed narcotic pain medication from the time she was pretty young. She built a tolerance and she had multiple surgeries, which they said fixed the problem, but it was not fixed. After that, the doctors treated her as if all of her pain related behaviors were drug-seeking behaviors. And likely some of them were, though she did have legitimate pain. They were not giving her any more pain meds and she took matters into her own hands,” Fox said. “It started out with her trying to find prescription drugs in her early to mid 20s. Eventually those drugs didn’t work any more because she had built up a tolerance. When you compare the street price of oxycontin to a bag of heroin it is significant. You can get a bag of heroin for as little as $5. It ultimately becomes a financial decision and heroin is everywhere.”Finding resources for help with addiction can be particularly challenging in rural areas.“Trying to address this issue becomes very difficult. Franklin County has quite a few services in Columbus but even they don’t have enough resources and services. The outlying counties are very resource poor. Living in rural Fairfield County where there is an enormous heroin problem, but trying to get a child into treatment is difficult if you do not have money laying around to spend or extremely good health insurance. It gets really hard because there isn’t much assistance out there,” Fox said. “In Fairfield County I am not aware of any medication assisted treatment programs that take health insurance. They only take cash. Many people on heroin want to get sober but withdrawal makes them sick. So they continue to use to avoid being sick, and the resources to get sober are largely unavailable.”Along with the physical addiction, heroin can be mentally and socially devastating as well.“There are a lot of different behaviors associated with heroin. It is not always just the drug they are addicted to. It is also these behaviors. You really have to compromise yourself to do a lot of the things people do to obtain heroin. Many people compromise themselves and their principles to obtain heroin. It takes your self-esteem. It takes away your everything. Heroin kills your soul,” Fox said. “It is not a party drug. It is often a drug people come to as a last ditch effort.  Chronic pain issues are a big reason many people start with heroin. A lot of people also come to it through mental health disorders and other substance abuse issues. Some families are raised this way and that is all they know.“My daughter was doing it and my two boys saw it and kind of followed the same path. Their father is an alcoholic and that put them at much greater risk for addiction. Now they are both addicted as well.”The challenges in her family’s struggle with addiction led to the need for a career change for Fox.“I had custody of my daughter’s four children and I still had my youngest daughter who was a teenager. I was working mostly as a freelance artist, which was not a steady source of income. With the kids, I needed more steady income and I was thinking about how difficult this journey had been for me as a parent trying unsuccessfully to get help for my children struggling with addiction. There are so many things that go along with that —like not sleeping at night because you don’t know where your kids are. It is a heartbreaking situation for everyone,” she said. “I thought if I had to make a career change, it should be something that will do some good and something that I am good at. It seems like I have always been able to help everyone except my kids. I decided to look into the field of addiction studies.”She went back to Columbus State to get a certificate in addiction studies and complimentary health studies to accompany the bachelor’s degree she had already gotten. She graduated last year. Now she works as a mentor for the Stable Cradle Program of Maryhaven in Columbus and has certification as a chemical dependency counseling assistant.“I work with opioid-dependent women who are expecting. I am with them through their pregnancies and one year postpartum. I pick them up and take them to appointments. I also help connect them to community resources, provide some counseling and recovery support, help them discover new tools that they can use to help them stay strong in their recovery, and in a couple of cases, provide support during labor and delivery. I am their all-around resource person,” Fox said. “If there is any way I can help them get anything they need that is what I do. Right now I have 24 clients in Franklin County. It is a challenge that takes a lot of creative time management.“One of the biggest issues that is not addressed for these women is that it is hard to find stable, safe housing. Some are homeless. Some are living in houses with other substance users, which makes it extremely difficult to stop using in that situation. These women often do not have any community or a good positive support network they can count on when they need something. Sometimes they just need someone to talk to. I do what I can but ultimately what helps them the most is good, positive people they can go to when they are having a problem.”The job is challenging and, some days, very rewarding.“As hard as it can be sometimes, I don’t take my clients recovery or non-recovery personally. I give them the best services I can in a non-judgmental way. I treat them the same when they are using as I do when they are not. I try to never be negative about anything that is going on in their life. I search for the positive and sometimes it makes me really tired. Some days are really sad and I just need a hug,” Fox said. “I have seen some people make some really dramatic changes in their lives. I have seen women give birth to healthy babies and get to keep them. For me even if it is one person that changes their life it is a success. And it has been much more than one person. I think the Maternal and Infant Recovery Clinic and the Stable Cradle program does a lot of good and I am really proud to be a part of it.”In terms of addressing the drug problem on a larger scale, Fox said there are no easy answers.“A good place to start is with families and communities sticking together. I feel like there has been a trend for quite a long time when someone exhibits all of these negative behaviors that you put a lot of distance between you and them,” she said. “While that can seem like a really good thing to do, I don’t know that it always is. It only adds to the hopelessness for the individual struggling with addiction. I know how difficult it is to deal with people who struggle with substance use disorders and sometimes it can even be dangerous. Often, addiction stems from trauma or inner turmoil of some kind that has not been addressed. The behaviors of individuals struggling with addiction often leads to families and friends stepping away from the individual, which adds another layer of trauma. If at all possible, it is helpful when the whole family can get help, which helps them positively support their loved one with the substance use disorder.”And, though it has been a long and bumpy journey, Fox has not given up on her family either.“My daughter is doing amazingly well. She just turned 30. She is no longer incarcerated and she is making huge steps to getting her life back on track. She is excited about starting her life over sober. I think my boys are going to follow suit. It takes time. This problem didn’t happen over night and it won’t be fixed overnight either.”last_img read more

The 7 Calls You Need to Make Now

first_imgChallenging Client: You know the client that pushes you to improve your results, the one who wants your very best performance. They nag you non-stop to do something about the systemic issues your industry experiences. They want you to be more resourceful and come up with something. Call them and see what’s on their mind.Dream Client: The biggest prospective client. The one you have pursued for years with no movement. Your competitor has them now, and they’ve kept them locked down for ages. You are never going to win their business if you don’t do something. Make that something a phone call.Lost Client: I know. They said they would never use you again after the problems you caused them. Never is a lot longer than most people understand. Time heals all wounds, and in many cases, the wounded has moved on and doesn’t work for your lost client anymore. Never can only be never is you give up. Call them and ask for a do-over.Best Client: When was the last time you thanked your very best client for being just that? When was the last time you told them you are grateful that they trust you with their business? Ask for nothing. Don’t talk for a long time either. Just call to let them know you are grateful for them.Best Mentor: There is someone who provided you with the right advice at the right time. They were there when you need some help and some guidance. Pick up the phone and call them to tell them how they improved your life. If you can and you will, tell them you intend to pay it forward.The One Who Needs Help: There is someone you know that needs your help. They need someone to care. Something as little as a well-timed call can help turn someone around. Make the call and do something to help.last_img read more

Arrest warrant issued against Bimal Gurung

first_imgIn yet another setback to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership, a court in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district has issued arrest warrants against eight leaders, including party president Bimal Gurung, for their alleged involvement in the violence that rocked the district in June.Violence had erupted in the Darjeeling hills when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a Cabinet meeting there on June 8. Several police personnel were injured and the Army was called in to control the situation.“The warrants have been issued by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Darjeeling, on a plea by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) on Tuesday. The Court wanted to have a hearing in the day,” Ajay Prasad, Special Superintendent of Police, North CID, told The Hindu. Besides Mr. Gurung, warrants have been issued against his wife Asha Gurung, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and five others.last_img read more

Crucial cushion

first_imgPhilippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Mariano confident PPL will start this month Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Abueva led Phoenix with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But a game after spoiling an 18-point, 21-rebound night with 10 missed free throws, the double-edged sword of the Fuel Masters may have cost his team a shot at tying the series when he ran to the dugout after his sixth foul. He also weighed down Phoenix with seven turnovers for the night. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Marcio Lassiter hit a key three-pointer going into the final two minutes and San Miguel Beer proved steadier in the clutch to score a 92-82 victory over Phoenix Monday night for a 2-0 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal duel at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Lassiter’s three put the Beermen ahead, 84-80, after they had trailed by as many as 12 early in the game, and the Beermen also got a key break when a fouled-out Calvin Abueva further dented Phoenix’s hopes with a crucial boo-boo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAbueva was slapped with his last foul on a June Mar Fajardo attempt and the energetic forward sprinted straight to the dugout instead of heading for the bench. That drew a delay of game technical—Phoenix had already committed a similar infraction earlier—and Alex Cabagnot knocked in the free throw to make it 85-80.Fajardo then split his free throws off the Abueva foul to make it a six-point lead in the final 1:10. Lassiter hit the dagger thirty seconds later to stretch the lead to eight and send Phoenix into the Holy Week break on the wings of desperation. Once again, San Miguel Beer found itself stymied by the handcuff-like defense of Phoenix Pulse.And once again, the Beermen found a way to thwart the Fuel Masters.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “Obviously, it’s not over yet,” Lassiter said after compiling 24 points and seven rebounds. He scored 17 of his total in the second half. “We still need two more wins and it’s going to be a dogfight.”Game 3 of the series takes place on Easter Sunday.Fajardo, after being held below double digits for the first time in the tournament in Game 1, had 19 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as he soldiered past a punishing Phoenix defense down low.Fajardo and Lassiter came out strong in the third where they combined to tie the game going into the payoff period after trailing for most of the first half.“We knew that in the first half we weren’t playing the way we should,” said Lassiter. “We knew in the second half that we needed to play San Miguel basketball. Share the ball, make the extra pass, get stops and keep grinding and grinding it.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments LATEST STORIESlast_img read more