To The Daily Sun,
I grew up in Gilford and Laconia. Those towns hold a dear place in my memory and always will. My family is still there and even though I moved away to Texas in the mid-'80s I get the pleasure of being able to go back and visit. I am devastated on hearing the recent events that have occurred just in this past week. A total of five heroin/drug overdoses.
This cannot be the first alarm that has sounded off. You do not need this e-mail to tell you something is seriously wrong. I know you know. I have gone over what you all have implemented in the past two years to try to get ahead of this epidemic. In your statistics I suppose you believe it is effective. I do not believe you are targeting the groups that are the core of the problem. This addiction is serious problem, and from what I have been told — and please correct me if I am wrong — there is not an actual long-term facility in Laconia.
Heroin addiction from what I studied is not a three-day fix. Nor is it for people that do not have insurance. Most of your cases are going to be the age of 18 years to 40. This is your working force. Many are on welfare, unemployed etc. due to this addiction. Eventually they will end up in one of these categories if they are working. The number is growing.
Does this concern you enough to change your thought process of what is really needed? Someone has to get aggressive. Having meetings that the real addicts will not attend unless court ordered will continually go nowhere. I would recommend you find a facility in town where these sick residents can get real help — long-term help. You will have to seek emergency funds to staff, house, educate and treat these sick residents. Reach out for volunteers. This is not going away.
As for welfare recipients, there must be a way to test monthly in order to qualify for benefits. Organize fundraisers, auctions, job fairs, anything to help fund this facility which is very much needed. The job fairs will also be an important area to concentrate on. Give the local business incentive to hire these residents that you will work endlessly to get better, so they have job to go to. Or maybe that person who has not been able to find work and is thinking that drugs are a way to escape the miserable situation they are in.
This town has to stand up and start screaming, screaming loud. Eventually you will see a domino effect. Younger families will be afraid to stay in fear of their children going down that path. New business will shy away due to the reputation that is starting to haunt this town. Vacationers will keep hearing of this disease plaguing the city and will no longer feel safe. It's going to happen, the town will slowly start dying economically.
If this is one person's thoughts 3,000 miles away, times me by thousands. Social media is very powerful and this news is already spreading all over the U.S. just in my group alone. There needs to be a group, a task force to heal this community. You do not have a lot of time, this will spread like any other disease and just get worse if you do not take immediate action. This can be controlled if the right programs are put in place, what you are doing now is not working. You have to find the solution and find it quickly. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it falls in the right ears. Scream, Laconia, scream!
Tia M. Rodriguez
- Category: Letters
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