YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

Fighting drug abuse with education and rehabilitation

To the editor:

“Today in the news we report a 10-year-old boy has tragically died after accidentally touching fentanyl, which was left on the floor by his parents.”

Yes, this is real. Yes, it happens almost every day inflicting death onto thousands of Americans every year. In 2017 alone, there were over 72,000 deaths which were drug-related over doses. Did you know, that of those 70,000 deaths, over two thirds of them were from prescription pills and narcotics, such as Vicodin?

We are killing ourselves, slowly but surely. Yes pain medication is a wonderful drug when used correctly. However, when one sees these statistics, they would have to start questioning why this is happening. Why is there such availability of these drugs which can only be given out by a licensed medical doctor? We need to stop blaming one another and look at the real root of the problem.

In the 1990s pharmaceutical companies convinced all that the side affects of these drugs would be minimal and non addictive. How wrong they truly were. We saw a sharp increase in opioid overdose after it began to be regularly prescribed. Approximately 30 percent of people abuse their opioid prescriptions. Now, some may argue that other drugs such as heroin are also abused. I completely agree and I think most would be shocked to learn that 80 percent of the people who use heroin, used opioid prescriptions first. Something has to give. We have to do something about this.

Thousands die every single year and it shows no signs of slowing down. We need to start taking a serious look at rehabilitation centers and how we can more effectively help the many people affected. Before you begin to judge, you should learn and educate yourself. That would be my plan. Educate, by putting up snippets/ads on buses, and to rehabilitate by making it required by law if you were to overdose on narcotics or heroin you have to enter a rehabilitation center.

TIMOTHY ERSKINE,

Salem

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A no birth policy is needed with cat population

To the editor:

I have raised funds for both no kill shelters and a shelter that euthanizes. At no kill shelters I watched as people were turned away with cats because of lack of space and as their money just housed and feed the otherwise unadoptable because of their no kill policy.

I used to believe in no kill but learned that turning away people with a box of cats was not a solution but part of the problem. Without a source of help those cats were likely released not sprayed or neutered having litters of kittens.

I raise funds for Angel for Animals. We raise money and sell $15 vouchers to fix cats. The following are some stories I’ve been told while selling vouchers.

One lady found a cat lying on the road aborting her kittens. She was weak and sick and it took weeks for her to recover. If not rescued she would have been run over.

Another lady found a cat that’s back end was infested with maggots. The maggots made her red blood count go down and she was very weak. If not found she would have died being eaten by maggots and suffocation due to the lack of red blood cells.

I helped a lady with live traps. She had stray kittens staying on her porch. She found two of the kittens lying in her driveway after someone bashed their little heads in.

These stories are disturbing, sad and true. This is the harsh reality of not spaying and neutering, over population and the cruelty of people.

If you were one of those cats would you like to die aborting your babies in the road, being run over, having your head bashed in, being eaten by maggots, suffocation or would you prefer a kind, gentle person put a needle in your arm while you peacefully without suffering go to heaven?

Sign me up for the last choice please.

Why do people hide behind Facebook posts and why do no kill shelters bash the work of shelters that euthanize? Why is a shelter so wrong that never turns anyone away with cats so they aren’t just dumped to suffer, die or just continue to breed?

In my work it’s not kill shelters that is the problem its people, that don’t spay and neuter, that dump cats like garbage and that says it’s just a cat. So all the no kill shelters can live in their own little feel good world of no kill while others are out here trying to really fix the problem and pick up the pieces of the broken lives of the ones you turned away.

When you don’t do anything about it aren’t you really a kill shelter?

My efforts have fixed 1,000 cats. Angels for Animals spays and neuters 10,000 cats and dogs a year with a goal of 25,000 with the new Angel Wing. How many have you fixed?

Angels for Animals has right now 850 cats in foster care plus 310 available for adoption. How many do you have?

To the no kill shelters and people that criticize: why not be a part of the solution and adopt a no birth policy?

SHERRY KISSINGER,

Rogers

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College student writes about cheating

To the editor:

Hello, my name is Michael Guterwill and I am a senior at Youngstown State University in the nursing program. In our Nursing in the Community class we have been assigned a project to write a letter to the editor and send it in.

The Medical Dictionary by Farlex defines academic dishonesty by “Intentional participation in deceptive practices in one’s academic work or the work of others” (2009, Farlex). Plagiarism, falsification, and fraud are some examples of academic dishonesty. This definition introduces a topic I am personally interested in. I believe that everyone at some point has witnessed or has personally participated in an act of academic dishonesty. This is an issue that schools face with their students and I feel that it is not expressed enough. I believe that students who cheat are only hurting themselves. When a student cheats they are basically stating that they do not understand the information and therefore aren’t learning what they should be.

So what are some things you should look out for as a teacher? Well as technology advances forms of academic dishonesty are becoming easier and easier to commit. For example, with the new smart watches students are able to use them to look up information for tests. Students have also been known to distract the teacher with question about a test to cheat. They may write on their self or on small pieces of paper with information needed for that specific test. These are just a few examples of how students can cheat.

How as a community can we prevent this? I feel that there is no simple solution to an issue such as this. However, I feel that maybe teachers could use a friendly reminder that sometimes if a student isn’t doing homework it isn’t because they simply don’t want to, but they do not know how to. If we can get these students extra help and figure out why they aren’t learning then I believe there will be less occurrences of academic dishonesty. I also feel they may not understand the severity of cheating. I think if we put a larger emphasis on being honest then we should also see better results.

MICHAEL R. GUTERWILL,

North Jackson

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