JAMESTOWN-An increase in heroin overdoses throughout Western New York possibly caused a recent increase in methamphetamine activity around the county per Rick Huber, Director of Mental Health Association’s New Program Development.
Huber told WNYNewsNow Friday he’s surprised Chautauqua County has avoided the extremely potent heroin from Buffalo thus far. He said methamphetamine could be on the rise, however, because of the fear of heroin usage.
“It’s odd it (potent heroin) hasn’t reached down here,” Huber said. “Meth is on the rise, and maybe some of the heroin users are afraid and turn to meth.”
Huber, however, acknowledged there’s still a heroin overdose crisis in the community. He said potential methadone clinics in Dunkirk and Jamestown could open the eyes of those who aren’t recognizing the epidemic.
“We need to have every possible treatment option that we can to stop the overdose,” Huber said. “The treatment and knowledge could be a plus of the methadone clinics, for lack of a better word.”
I am a little confused by the efforts to simply reduce overdoses by pharmacologically placating addicts with methadone, thus maintaining their addiction. Much like methadone, Narcan does not treat the disease. A humanitarian, I am aghast that efforts are not made to treat the individual, which would include attentiveness to biological, social, psychological, and spiritual domains. Those concerned merely about economics and aesthetics in their communities might broaden their lens to an ecological one, rather than maintain a narrow focus on the addict’s behavior. Physicians do not treat cancer solely with pain relievers, and certainly do not recommend prescribing or administering agents to the patient that caused or maintained the cancer, they fight to rid the patient’s body of it to help the individual have a higher life expectancy and increased quality of life. Ask yourself, are the analogous pain relievers, methadone and Narcan, administered solely to relieve the addict’s pain, or the community’s? The answer should be BOTH.