It feels like everyday I wake up to another horrific story involving heroin.

In my frustration and sadness I find myself quickly jumping to blame. “It’s the dealer’s fault.” “It’s the government’s fault.” “The individual should have asked for help earlier on.”

Somehow, blaming makes it easier to cope with the utter devastation heroin and other drugs have caused.

Is it a lack of education, community support systems, or the fact that 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce? Is it a combination of all three of these things?

We may never know what exactly fanned the flames of this epidemic. However, there are ways for community members and loved ones of addicts to join the solution.

At the AMIRF Naperville Opiate Support Group, attendees have the ability to receive Narcan training and their own, free, Narcan kit. Narcan is an opiate-reversal drug that is typically carried by emergency responders. However, we civilians also have the opportunity to carry this drug on us in case we need to save someone from an overdose situation.

This Narcan is not a cure for addiction, but it is saving lives. And as long as we are keeping addicts alive, there is still hope for them to get proper treatment.

There are also opportunities to engage in events such as walks for National Overdose Awareness Day, Anonapalooza, or you may choose to submit a blog to this website. Any participation in events or activities that promote awareness and education will make a difference.

Opportunities to fight the heroin epidemic are out there. So, if we choose not to take advantage of them, then the only person to really blame is ourselves.

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