Good morning Columbus. What you need to know: Reader feedback on Project Opioid; it’ll be East vs. North on Friday night; this artist draws warplanes

Good morning Columbus –

Our work is far from done, but the reaction from readers to our stories about the opioid crisis in Bartholomew County indicates the stories are resonating in ways we did not imagine.

We are sincerely grateful to the people who have been through the darkness of addiction and are bravely sharing their stories.

Bartholomew County residents Erika Hurt and Rachel McCue have no doubt helped others, increased understanding and knocked down stigmas and misconceptions associated with the disease of addiction.

Addicted & Dying: The Opioid Epidemic is a project we are doing at all of our sister newspapers in Indiana. I wanted to share with you some of the comments our editors have been getting in our Indiana markets. Here’s a sampling —

‘Real and human.
I can’t tell you how appreciative and impressed I am with The Republic’s “Addicted and Dying/Deadly Crisis” series. Yesterday and today’s articles do a great job with lead stories making the opioid crisis “real and human,” and with supporting articles that educate us with “the facts” about opioids and the impact on the brain.  Thanks for your efforts and commitment to addressing this terrible crisis in our community.

National epidemic of historic propotions.
I commend you for tackling the opioid crisis in a meaningful local way.  It is a national epidemic of historic proportions.  I’m a retired RN, and I have seen nothing like this since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.  (Before that, it was polio in the 1950s.)  That’s just my take on it.  Thank you for devoting  resources to this horrible problem, and putting out there that addiction is an illness, not a lifestyle choice.

Education is key.
Great articles. People need to be educated and understand how the chemistry of the brain changes and how that makes it so difficult to beat addiction. The public also needs to see how pharmaceutical companies contributed to this epidemic by prescribing opioid painkillers and it has hit all socioeconomic classes of our society. I think so many people think it’s limited to the lower class, immoral or uneducated and that’s just not true. .

More to come.
Good story on opioids. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

Timely topic.
I believe this series is a good subject to cover, even if the stats are difficult to read. This is a horrible epidemic and something needs to be done about it. Hopefully the awareness and understanding you are providing will be a good first step to changes.

Here’s what else you need to know —

The rivalry continues. Columbus vs. Columbus.
The Olympians girls basketball team crushed Shelbyville last night in the sectional opener.  Read the story here. Now we can’t wait for Friday night’s rematch. It’ll be East vs. North in the semifinal round. The Bull Dogs beat the Olympians 57-54 earlier in the season. This will be good.

Election 2018.
An Elizabethtown man is seeking his party’s nomination for a seat in the state legislature. It’s a seat currently held by State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour. Story here.

Artist David Gray's favorite work: The Reunion, depicting a war veteran visiting an old B-17 bomber.

He soars as a pilot and as an artist.
Columbus North graduate David Gray’s favorite work is the one above — The Reunion, depicting a war veteran visiting an old B-17 bomber. You can pick out your own favorite. His paintings of warplanes are on display at the Columbus Area Visitors Center’s Gallery 506, 506 Fifth St. Thursday’s Republic.

Odds and ends.
Bridal show photo gallery Dancing with the Stars Columbus Style photos Mastermind behind southside Indy explosion dies.

Today’s Instpic from thinkaheadstudios

instagram columbus

Have a great day. Send your story ideas to ssyse@therepublic.com.

Author photo
Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at ssyse@therepublic.com.