Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: We Must Be Honest About Deaths From Drug Addiction

letter, LTE

Substance abuse deaths are increasing astronomically. In one year (2017), America buried more from substance abuse than from the last 15 years of combat combined.

Since a year after my son’s accidental overdose death, July 31, 2012, I’ve been voluntarily involved in the recovery community. In that time, I’ve mentored or had close connections with 18 people, mostly men under 30, who have passed away from an overdose. Other-than-alcoholdrug addiction is deeply sinister and dark; it is a demonic monster.

It is clear to me, being involved in “faith-based” recovery, that the answer lies in a personal relationship with the living God. Forthrightness and honesty are paramount in addressing this issue.

Many are unaware of the depth of this issue. Nearly every week I read the obituary of a young person who “died suddenly at home.” Only occasionally is it mentioned that they “lost a battle with mental illness or with heroin or substance abuse.” Why is this? We must stop denying the ugly truth of addiction. Young people do die from other causes, but it is rare.

Writing honest obits would increase awareness. If more people read the actual cause of death, more might develop empathy and work to provide solutions. It does take a village.

HAL MAYNOR

Mount Joy Township

About the author