Heroin, meth are bigger problem on Plateau than many realize | Letter

In regards to Heath Rainwater’s article in the (Sept. 3) Courier-Herald, Church Corner, which I found to be in touch with what is going on with the drug culture here on the Plateau.

Heroin and meth are a much bigger problem than some people are aware of. I was so glad to see that Mr. Rainwater addressed so many issues that we face as a community. Children are orphaned because of drug abuse and parents are losing their kids due to the overwhelming drug use here. The actual number of overdoses are not reported to the public. Not everyone dies from an overdose.

I am a paralegal and have several clients who are dealing with the death of a loved one due to habitual drug abuse. I heard first-hand that there was a bad batch of heroin that came around during the summer and I know of at least four people who died from its use. This has ripped families apart and the rehab centers are flooded with calls about meth and heroin. The police are working with a task force that meets and discusses the latest issues in the “war on drugs.” Educating is their main focus, but some parents wonder if all the drug education in schools could be adding to the allure of drugs, or making students desensitized to it.

Drug addiction knows no race, color, religion or tribe, and is an equal opportunity offender. Even the undercover police who work with dealers large and small are at risk of addiction. It is a dangerous line that they walk in order to do their job, but a necessary one. It wasn’t that long ago that an officer was let go for stealing from the evidence room.

Addiction can touch any family. We have all heard the saying “a family that prays together stays together,” and think they are the perfect family, but in fact could very well have a son or daughter with an addiction to these powerful drugs. No family is immune to it, and if you have a teen, are a teen, or know someone that is and is dealing with these issues you can go to Enumclaw Youth and Family Services on Cole street, or you can call them at 360-825-4586. Adults with addiction issues can go to Sound Mental Health in Auburn and call them at 253-876-7610, or Valley Cities in Auburn at 253-336-4577. An addict is someone who can’t stop drinking or doing drugs, and it interferes with their day-to-day activities, as well as hurting relationships or putting their job in jeopardy. Finding yourself at this crossroad, knowing that there is help and getting it are two different things. Some say they aren’t worth the trouble, and others say I don’t want to stop. They say the cravings make them give in when they have decided to quit, and quitting is impossible. Quitting for any reason besides yourself is futile to recovery. Quitting can make you a better father, mother, son or daughter, brother or sister, and can make you whole again. Doing it alone is not helping your cause. Having the support of a therapist or group of people who are dealing with the same issues is so important to staying sober.

Think about it, would you rather lose everything and everyone you love, include yourself in that list, or would you rather not be dependent on a substance that runs your life?

Mary Rain Walters

Enumclaw