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October 02, 2014
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The face of addiction in Sullivan County

Isabel Braverman

Addiction has been all over the news lately with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. And it’s been in our news locally. Take these startling statistics into consideration: Overdose deaths from painkillers in New York City increased 233% between 2000 and 2012, and heroin-related deaths increased 84% between 2010 and 2012. Overall, overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle deaths in this country. Addiction stories in the media are starting a conversation, which I think is a good thing. We need to talk about it so that people can understand, as it’s a very hard thing to understand unless you’ve been there. It will hopefully also encourage addicts to come clean, both in talking to someone about their addiction, and by seeking help in getting sober. You can’t do it alone. You must have a support system.

Sullivan County needs to wake up and realize that heroin is here and it kills. You can’t just “do it once;” it is a highly addictive substance. If you see someone who wants to try it, or is on the path to trying it, stop them before they start. Because once you start, it is a long road. There is help in Sullivan County; there are support systems, NA meetings, rehab and counseling. If you are afraid or embarrassed to ask for help, realize that although people may be shocked at first, they will do anything to help you.

If you know someone who is addicted to heroin, or does any kind of addictive and deadly drug, you need to talk to them about it, before it is too late. You need to talk to them, or tell their parents, their friends, or someone who can help them. Do not worry that they might get mad at you. Even if they get mad and don’t want to be your friend anymore, that is far better than losing them forever to a fatal overdose. Chances are they may one day realize that you were right, and they will thank you for saving their life. After all, it only takes one time for a dose to be deadly.