Letter: County must heed dangers of drug addiction

From: Matthew A. Myers, Bartholomew County Sheriff


An opioid and prescription drug epidemic is sweeping our country. This epidemic impacts all segments of society and it is impacting Bartholomew County. We are facing a crisis that is killing far too many people. As your sheriff, I urge all Bartholomew County residents to help battle this epidemic.

People are dying from fatal overdoses that are caused by heroin and other opioids. Our county corner tells us that in 2014 and 2015, nine Bartholomew County residents died from opioid overdoses. This does not include Bartholomew County residents who were transferred and died in other hospitals.

In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the FBI and DEA released a documentary aimed at educating families and young people about the dangers of addiction.

“Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” is a compilation of heart-wrenching, first-person accounts by addicts and family members of addicts about their experiences. It is a realistic and comprehensive 45-minute documentary that everyone should view. It is a must see for every parent, especially those with teenage children.

This is no longer just a law enforcement issue — this is a community issue. It is time for every resident to educate themselves on just how powerful opioid addiction has become.

This epidemic is the reason that, within days after being sworn in, a memorandum of understanding was entered into by and between the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew County prosecutor’s office for the purpose of establishing the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Interviews with addicts have shown that 70 percent of the opiate addictions began with prescription pain medications.

“Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” is not censored. It is just the straight facts from people who have lived with the hard consequences of opioid abuse. The interviews are unscripted and contain some profanity. It is well worth your time — please view it today at fbi.gov, or I have also posted it to facebook.com/SheriffMattMyers.