We had a rough day in Bloomington last week. During one 24-hourperiodfifteen people overdosed on drugs – with one fatality. It was an awful series of tragic individual stories, some involving heroin, and others spice.
Like communities across the country, we’re seeing casualties of addiction and poverty and mental health rise. Including kids. It’s swamping our emergency and health care systems. It’s overwhelming our local advocate for neglected or abused children removed from their homes. Two years ago they got one referral per day. During the first half of this year, it exploded to more than three per day – a tripling in less than two years, almost all drug related. It’s staggering.
We’re trying to respond locally as best we can, with additional housing and health services, with a needle exchange program, a new addiction clinic announced just this week, and more. But we need help.
It makes our national health care debate so critical. It’s outrageous that the House and Senate are trying to push a terrible bill through without public review. What kind of country would deliver massive tax cuts for millionaires paid for by huge cuts in health services to our poor and working families? Who would reduce coverage for addiction services or mental health in our health plans, while a public health emergency rages across thousands of communities?
Please stay strong in demanding real health care improvements for our friends and neighbors. This is a moral issue.
Thank you for your persistence and resistance in the face of injustice.
PS It’s a good time to call our US Senators and Representatives to demand common sense health care reform – they need to hear from all of us! (at 202-224-3121)