It's amazing how long we've avoided talking about heroin. While health advocates, some law enforcement, some medical providers and a few others have gradually come to see heroin's place in the epidemic of drug poisonings in this county, many more…especially lawmakers, but I would argue the public in genera… still sees heroin as the 1950s-style drug of choice for the hardest core addicts. It's not. And today it is killing more and more neighbors, co-workers, students, friends and family. It can affect anybody and everybody. But, finally, it looks like we might be ready to do something about it.
In the last week alone heroin has been front and center, on page one of the New York Times with the story of a death in Hudson, Wisconsin of all places, in Milwaukee where a couple of city council members are calling for a heroin summit, and here in Madison where Journey Mental Health Center is trying out a promising new drug to boost recovery chances of people addicted to heroin.
There's actually much more than that going on, thanks in large degree to the efforts of Safe Communities of Dane County. But it's all important, it's all about time, and it's all going to save lives.