A new old problem

By Jay Bender

Much of what we see in life is cyclical. Trends catch on, die out and experience resurgence. Some of that resurgence is tragic.

When I began working for the Solon Police Department in the early 1990’s, crack cocaine was the illegal drug constantly in the headlines. Heroin was around, but it was not common, certainly not as “popular” as it had been during the 1970’s and into the ’80’s. As we entered the 21st Century, methamphetamine use began to spread, in part because it can be manufactured in homemade labs. And now, heroin has made a comeback, along with a wide variety pharmaceutical opioids.

The danger of these drugs and their impact on our society is no secret. From addiction to overdoses, we are facing a problem that will not go away on its own. I don’t think that anyone has one answer to this issue: A real solution will have to come from different sources.

On March 1, at 7:00 p.m., Advent Lutheran Church and the Solon Police Department will be sponsoring a community “care-versation,” focusing on facing the opioid crisis together. Participants will include a variety of specialists, including Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office investigator Erin Worrell, Solon Fire Chief William Shaw, Cover2 founder Greg Mcneil, Safe Passages coordinator Nicole Walmsley, and Solon DARE Officer Joann Felton.

It is a group that includes a wide mix of participants, and that’s important because to deal with this problem it will take all of them. Even more importantly, it will take all of us.


Advent Lutheran Church is located at 5525 Harper Road, Solon, Ohio.

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