Readers and viewers responded to our six-part series and one-hour TV special "Heroin: Fixing a Broken System," which was published and broadcast last week. You can read the entire series here and watch the broadcast here. Here's a sampling of the reaction.
READ MORE: Heroin: Fixing a Broken System
This reader's email was referred to two local addiction specialists and the Addiction Services Council:
So ... I've been reading your stories daily, it's like the light in my dark days I guess you can say. I am 26 years old and I am a heroin addict. I have been doing it every day since I was 21, with a few jail stints. I am never kept long enough to get clean. I truly want to get clean and I'm having trouble getting into rehab. Long story short, my Medicaid only is accepted with a referral from a doctor and with rippin and runnin to stay well, it's just not working. Have you found any easier ways I can just walk in to a rehab and get clean? I literally hate my life. I was a suburban girl. I grew up in Milford and my life as it is today, I just don't even recognize myself anymore. I guess I'm asking for help as I'm sure many people do.
The story last night was exceptional. Great great great job bringing light to all of this! The advisory board panel was awesome. What an enlightening dialogue between the experts and grieving parents.
-- Laura Kunz, Anderson Township native and rehab industry executive interviewed by WCPO
'Very well done'
Just wanted to say that I watched the special last night and thought it was very well done. Kudos for bringing the issue before the public and helping them understand addiction and specifically the heroin epidemic. Looking forward to continued partnering with you and WCPO around this issue in the future.
-- Karen J. Scherra, executive director of the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board
'Shine a light'
Thank you! So appreciate having you and others shine a light on this tragic epidemic.
-- Kane Emery
I personally can't thank you enough. Let's keep going.
-- Colleen Perry, mother of child who fatally overdosed, interviewed by WCPO
The next two comments were in reaction to our story on getting kicked out, which mentioned an incident at Pax House, a sober-living home in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Mohawk.
When managing a sober-living house, the decisions we have to make are very difficult and emotionally taxing. But the truth is, when a person makes the decision to get drunk or high he is essentially taking away the opportunity for us to be of service to him or her. Consequences, and having nowhere else to go, brought me to treatment and then brought me to a sober-living house. Where I stayed for two years. This place taught me how to be accountable and showed me how to to be a functioning, law-abiding citizen of society.
-- John Monhollen
I spent a decade under the influence; seven of those years I was in a cycle of opiates and cocaine and the last five years I had been intravenously using heroin. Adam's Recovery Center and Pax House helped and continue to help me save myself.
-- Zac Huron
Wonderful story. I will be proud to share it.
-- Amy Russ
'The addict must want sobriety'
More important than a patient's length of treatment is the level of desperation on which the addict is operating. The hard but fair play on abstaining is: The addict must want sobriety more than anything. Recovery will thus become possible. Good work.
-- Scott Shackelford
Your article hit the nail on the head! This is the only disease/disorder/condition where the treatment is not standardized. This is not like treating a heart attack or stroke where the treatment algorithm is standardized and followed as the standard of care. Indeed, the 'treatment' or 'rehab' can potentially increase the risk of death from an opioid overdose.
If this kind of infrastructure existed for any other medical condition, there would be an outcry and all sorts of inquiries. The present shocking state that exists is entirely due to the deep-seated stigma society has towards patients impacted by drugs and alcohol. Who are culprits? Physicians, medical schools, lawmakers and yes the treatment providers who masquerade as experts. The treatment industrial complex is way too entrenched and the victims are the patients.
-- Percy Menzies, Assisted Recovery Centers of America
'Cry my eyes out'
This just made me cry my eyes out. My sister Katrina and my niece Courtney. This video could save someone's life. You were very brave to share your story, both of you.
-- Michelle Shaw from Facebook
Read Courtney's story and watch the video here.
I wanted to offer a congratulations on a job well done with the heroin series. You have brought the real and important stories to the public. Thank you for your leadership.
-- Nicole Scheisler, Prevention First