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Letter from the Editor: A Community Challenge

by on December 31, 2018 12:47 PM

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a story for The Centre County Gazette – part of a series the paper did on the opioid crisis – that really stuck with me.

The article reported on the experience of EMTs on the front lines of the crisis. If you’ve followed the issue at all on a national or a local level, you’ve no doubt heard that the opioid problem impacts people in all walks of life, perhaps in a more widespread way than we’ve seen with other drugs.

What shocked me most was a story I was told by a first responder. It wasn’t unusual, she said, for some parents suffering from an addiction to bring their children to a public place – a park or a library, for example – to have other adults present in case the parent fell asleep or overdosed.

To me, that helps crystalize the depth of the problem touching our community and so many others across the nation.

This month, staff writer Vincent Corso and photographer Darren Andrew Weimert examine the issue through the eyes of many who have lived the crisis in various ways: parents who have lost a child; a former addict in recovery; first responders; and county officials, including its top prosecutor. All were kind enough to share their stories in the hopes of helping others.

The crisis here is very real, with at least 18 drug overdose deaths in the county in 2018, and more than 50 over the past three years. But we’re fortunate to live in an area that offers an abundance of quality resources for those impacted by addiction. Inside, we’ll help you find them.

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On a far lighter note, this month we introduce a new column called “Help Me!” Our writers will take on some of the challenges that consumers face every day, such as finding the right piece of jewelry for that special someone, or picking the best produce at the farmers market to complement a favorite recipe.

We begin with a common quandary many guys face (even if some don’t know it): how to smarten up that business-casual look, striking a balance between business suits and showing up at the office in jeans that date to the Reagan administration.

Vince – who wears neither – stopped in at Harpers for some advice on freshening up his own look. See the results inside.

We’d love to hear your ideas for future columns. Please email me at the address below!

 

Mark Brackenbury

Editorial Director

[email protected]

 

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