, Newburyport, MA


October 30, 2013

Our view: Heroin's 'scourge' cuts deep

Much has been written about the “scourge” of heroin, perhaps enough so that the general public thinks it is overhyped, or that it can’t possibly ever affect them.

But the warning signs have been cropping up throughout our region.

In Newburyport, Mayor Donna Holaday has called for a public meeting on Monday to talk about drug use in city parks and the discovery of needles used by heroin addicts.

In Amesbury, the discovery of a woman overdosing in the bathroom of a public park, next to a children’s playground, has sent a chilling messages to parents.

In Salisbury, public parking lots frequented by the public have been identified as prime locations for heroin dealing. Amesbury faces the same issue, and in Newburyport public “jewels” such as the Clipper City Rail Trail have been identified as locations where evidence of heroin use has been found.

Over the past few months, there has been a steady stream of stories in The Daily News about heroin-related incidents in local communities — Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury and Merrimac. But no story demonstrated the web of crime, desperation and rippling effects better than one that was published Monday.

Based on court documents available at Newburyport District Court, reporter Dave Rogers recounted the years-long string of crimes committed by a small number of local people involved in the heroin distribution business. What is most disturbing is the chaos and life-destroying saga born from heroin, and how young people become entangled in the web.

Amesbury police immediately reacted to the story. On their Facebook page, the Amesbury police noted the article “provides a few important reasons why the Amesbury police and other local agencies need your help in battling the heroin problem that has become endemic to our region. Loved ones have been lost to overdoses, families torn apart, children are put in danger on a daily basis, and drug-related crime runs rampant in our area.

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