Can Ripon kick the heroin habit?

Despite great efforts by many, Ripon’s heroin problems have gotten worse over the past year.

“The supply remains high, the price remains low, and the people who are using are selling to support their using habits,” Ripon Police Chief Dave Lukoski said.

“We continue to see that unabated.”

Numbers back up that sad truth.

“The Fond du Lac County medical examiner has had seven mixed toxicity deaths ... and three alcohol toxicity deaths — and that’s a lot. We’re trending up in deaths,” said Ellen Sorensen, grant coordinator for Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County. “[The use of an opioid antidote] Narcan deployment county-wide is up also.”

So, does this mean all the work done over the past year to stem the tide of opioids, such as heroin, into the community have been for nothing?

Were the opioid summit last fall and numerous meetings since of no use?

Not at all.

While the use of heroin and other opioids, such as the prescription medication Oxycontin, remain high, education is making a difference.

Structures are being created that proponents believe will make a long-term difference to weaken heroin’s stranglehold on the Ripon area. And increased education is helping those who know individuals with addictions recognize that their loved ones need help.

Read the full story in the Oct. 27, 2016 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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