The Damage Done, Part Two

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So yesterday I posted a mug shot picture of my step-great niece, who apparently died of a heroin overdose this past weekend. Here is another picture:

The damage done

This is about two weeks ago. Cav is in the middle. Her step-grandmother is to the left, her son to the right. Although the picture was taken three years later than the mug shot, to my eyes Cav looks younger, more vulnerable here. This was a happy moment. Two weeks later, she was gone.

You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Ah, if you live or if you die

-- "The Pusher," by Steppenwolf, written by Hoyt Axton

It's a song written nearly fifty years ago. And the song remains the same today. The problem with opiates in Madison and Wisconsin generally, like so many places in this country, beggars description:

Wisconsin’s 883 fatal opioid overdoses in 2017 was a 7 percent increase from 2016, when 827 people died from opioid overdoses. That figure was a 35 percent jump from 2015, according to the state Department of Health Services.

Emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 109 percent in Wisconsin from July 2016 to September 2017, the highest rise among 16 states closely tracked, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in March.

We won't have a tally of 2018 deaths until we get to next year. But the number will likely be higher still. So many of the people were young. So many had potential. The miasma of pathologies are staggering. If we could find a solution, we would.

God damn, the pusher
God damn, the pusher
I said God damn, God damn the pusher man