Waukesha County Heroin Overdose Cases Continue to Climb

Heroin Addiction in WaukeshaIt seems like just about every other week you watch the news or see the same disturbing headline in the local Waukesha newspaper or the Waukesha Patch news feed “man/woman found unconscious with a needle in his/her arm…” You’re eyes are riveted to the headline and you can’t help but listen to or read the story of how yet another Waukesha County resident met their demise from a heroin overdose.  Some times the victim is in their 30’s or 40’s, but a majority of younger kids are falling victim to this terrible narcotic poison.

Waukesha Heroin Overdoses

 

In some cases the victim had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, while others simply experimented a time or two.  Their history plays very little role when it comes down to it, yet some how people find a sort of acceptance in the death of a long time drug addict; maybe by reasoning that society is a little safer or better off now that they’re gone.  I personally find that unacceptable!  That victim is someone’s child! Whatever the case may be, the loss of lives from heroin overdoses is a tragedy! Most recently a 34-year-old Waukesha woman is facing charges after a man she was living with overdosed and died after they both took heroin.  Some how there must be a way to stop the rising death toll in our community.

These people need help, understanding, and a society

that views them not as bad people – but as people suffering from a disease

 

Whether or not you and I want to admit it, we are responsible – each and every one of us.  We must ask ourselves if there is anything that “we” as a society can do to prevent these senseless deaths and this has to be a concerted effort.  10, 20 or 50 people cannot solve this pandemic, even though at times it almost seems useless to try and fight.

In order to act as a society we have to search inside ourselves and individually ponder whether there’s anything that we personally can do to help. I’m guessing that for most people the thought of getting involved probably doesn’t interest you, at least not until your friend or loved one becomes the victim?  That’s the attention getter that will usually snap all reluctance out of even the most reticent people.  It’s unfortunate that it takes a heart-wrenching tragedy to get our personal attention.

I can personally say that you’re not going to find me frequenting any drug-using party or hangout in an attempt to rescue these people from themselves.  Likewise I’m not going to spy on or otherwise seek out drug deal transactions. I’m certain that all of you share the same feelings.  However, there are “little” things that each and every one of us can do.  This doesn’t necessarily mean taking time out of your busy schedule to get involved in an area drug prevention awareness group, but these groups are very helpful in educating people on the many signs of addiction, including heroin addiction.

Educate Yourself

As the old adage goes, “knowledge is power”.  This is especially true when it comes to addiction and the steps that are necessary to act as a branch of the support network.  True friends don’t watch their friends consume controlled substances without expressing concern.  Not telling anyone else that your friend is using heroin under the premise that you are afraid they will get in trouble will come back to haunt you should that friend overdose and die.  You must learn what it is to be an enabler and how to assertively stop endorsing the slow and certain suicide of your friend or loved one.  Alcohol and drug addiction has only one objective:  To kill the user!

Talk and Listen

Helping a heroin addict

 

This may sound rhetoric, but the number one thing that we can do as individuals is to talk to our neighbors, friends, and family members whom we believe or know to be abusing drugs – in this case heroin.  Let these people know that you love and care about them.  Talk to them and support them in believing that there is hope, and that there is a solution and better life awaiting them if they stop using.  Offer to take them into a detox center and support their recovery.  As human beings we owe it to them to offer support.

When these individuals open up it is very important to simply listen to what they have to say about life’s problems and whatever else they feel necessary to discuss.  It is not necessary to have all the answers or to know how they feel, rather it is just important that they have someone that will listen to them and at least care enough to do so.

Watch

Keep an active eye out for drug using and/or dealing behaviors of neighbors, friends and loved ones.  Let them know that you are aware of their use. Warn them that if necessary you are going to take further steps to stop them if they do not take action on their own.  Don’t be afraid to pick up that phone and dial 911.  Your friend or loved ones life could depend on it!

 

Resources:

 

Local:

Waukesha Addiction Resource Council

 

National:

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

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One Response to Waukesha County Heroin Overdose Cases Continue to Climb

  • Scott,

    Your article was, sorry to say, very nearly useless. The overall tone of your message was, “let’s talk.” Talking doesn’t get people to stop using an extremely addictive drug. Very often, neither does other drug therapy, outpatient or inpatient therapy regardless of how intense it might be. While you are a seemingly caring person, you failed to take a hard stand on a very hard drug, and the very hard people that use this killer dope. “Talking” to a heroin user is akin to bringing a Nerf ball to a gun fight.

    There are “little things we can do,” you so less than eloquently state. Little actions don’t stop a freight train Scott and with that, I believe you’re really missing the big picture.

    In our homogenous and softened society where murder is called “intentional homicide” and grand theft auto, “operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent,” it’s no longer politically correct to refer to anyone as “bad.” They’re all just “victims of circumstance. Good people that have just somehow, lost their way and society needs to understand them and help them.” Bull crap! If we (society) can’t refer to IV drug users as bad people, when and where can we? It’s BAD to hang with drug users, it’s BAD to buy drugs, it’s BAD to ingest the drugs and yet, the people that are engaging in all of this BAD behavior aren’t bad, really?

    I first took note of this tempering of language shortly after John Belushi died in 1982. Many remember the Saturday Night Live star that assumed room temperature, the result of a drug overdose after doing an “eight ball,” a cocaine and morphine sulfate mix. Fellow actor and friend, Dan Aykroyd, at John Belushi’s memorial service said of John. “…what we had here was a good man and a bad boy.” I understand the desire to say something nice about a dead man at his memorial, but the truth is, Belushi’s illicit drug use and subsequent death was simply sold in a palatable manner, and that cute phrase fit the bill. John Belushi died of badness Scott and I’ll make no apologies for hurting anyone’s feelings by stating fact. Contrary to Mr. Aykroyd’s adorable comment, Belushi wasn’t a boy, he was a man, and he was bad, and it cost him his life. Moving the clock forward, we’ve seen a tremendous spill-over effect of soft, gentle, kind and loving terms used to describe illegitimate, dishonest and often criminal behavior and I ain’t buyin’ it!

    As we gaze at the sky and wring our hands in the hope that someday, somehow we can all get together to hold hands and “talk” about how life is “lovely” and drugs are “naughty,” the drug guzzling pigs of our society are driving, under the influence of drugs, to the metropolitan areas of our larger cities, buying heroin for themselves and their drug using friends, bringing it back the suburbs and distributing it. When they run out of drugs and money, they rob and steal from anyone and everyone, private citizens and businesses alike, in order to fund their next junk-blast of whatever drug they have CHOSEN to become addicted to. These aren’t bad people? I submit they are.

    Adopt two children Scott. One, you will “talk” to each and every time he is defiant and breaks the most serious rules of your home. The other Scott, you’ll spank and offer swift consequence when he is defiant, disrespectful and intentionally breaks the most serious of home rules. In very short order my friend, you’ll find which child will become a productive member of society, and which will continue to walk all over you at every opportunity.

    Illegal drug users must be dealt with swiftly, harshly and with great consequence and this can be delivered by our criminal justice system. It currently isn’t, but it can, and should be. There is ample opportunity in our society, if you’re a drug user, to “reach out” for, and to receive help. They, the junkies, generally opt not to avail of the many services provided by our society that have been keenly crafted to aid and support their recovery from addiction. No Scott, they opt rather, to slither willfully about in their dishonest world and most often, make elaborate excuses for their continued depravity. For every hand that a heroin user reaches out in a bid for help with their addiction, there are five hands willing to offer assistance. The message should be, ignore our rules, continue to use drugs and we’ll lock your ass up for a very, very long time. Heroin users don’t die of heroin overdoses in prison. Consequences Scott, not “talks.”

    Finally, I continue to be incensed when people refer to alcohol and drug abusers as people with a “disease.” Disease is defined as: “a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.”

    I recognize that IV and other drug users are subject to the acquisition of a multitude of diseases, the direct result of their self-indulgent and filthy lifestyle, but please spare us this attempt to solicit sympathy by referring to their willful injection of an illegal substance as a “disease.”

    Yours,
    Russ

    PS I’m not a blog author but if I were, and I possessed your lack of grammatical prowess, I’d take a remedial English class in order that I might produce a blog that carries and reflects a modicum of writing skill. Scott, really, “This may sound rhetoric, but the number one thing…” is not a sentence. Also, in the context you used them, the words “some times” and “some how” are both actually one word, as in sometimes and somehow. Your article was painful to the common sense and logic subdivisions of the brain, as well as the eyes. Again, no apologies, I’m just sayin’.