Marion County Drug Coalition
Cannon believes some people are more prone to become addicts to opiates than others.
0 1

Marion County's new Coalition Against Drug Use was told by Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon Wednesday that there have already been five deaths in the first two and a half months of the year from confirmed or suspected heroin overdoses. Cannon believes some people are more prone to become addicts to opiates than others.

"This predisposition doesn't care who you are. It doesn't care about what type of family you came from. What kind of religious or ethnic background you are. You either have it or you don't, so how do we approach that? I don't know. But I think part of the problem might be, and I think this is sort of a current thing, I think the medical community is looking at how they prescribe opiates and when."

Cannon says another problem is no one who buys heroin on the street knows what it might be cut with.

Salem Police Chief Sean Reynolds questions why the problem appears to be more concentrated in Marion County. He believes some local doctors are prescribing more opiate pain relievers than in other areas of the state.

A representative of St. Mary's Hospital noted opiates are very good drugs for intense pain relief, but are not designed for prolonged use that leads to abuse. The group was told some go to doctor's or the hospital emergency room repeatedly claiming intense pain just to get more of the drug.

The Executive Director of the Community Resource Center Georgeann Broughton says there is also the problem of the drugs being taken from other family members. She reports a container that locks up prescription drugs may be something the group wants to promote. In other cases, the group was told some senior citizens are supplementing their income by selling opiate drugs they have had prescribed.

Broughton is pleased that more than 40 from law enforcement, medical and treatment organizations, and schools were in attendance for the second meeting.

"Our plan going forward is to develop an action plan in regards to what we would like to accomplish as a coalition. Part of that is going to be providing awareness and education in the community and host some forums. Specifically we will be having some type of an event on August 31st which is International Overdose Awareness Day."

The coalition is the effort of the Community Resource Center and Marion County Health Department which have labeled drug abuse Marion County's top health problem. While opiates and heroin will be the main emphasis, Broughton says they could look at other drug problems later.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here!