Fayette County residents responded Wednesday to the impact heroin addiction and drug trafficking is having on their lives.
Ann, who works at a gas station in Washington Court House, said she sees people coming in the store every day who are heroin users.
“It’s absolutely a problem. Sometimes we have people come in here to buy things, and you think they’re going to fall out right in front of you, so I mean, you have people come in with blood dripping down their arm and on their hand. It’s quite ridiculous, really,” said Ann. She said she sees more of it around the beginning of the month, when people get their checks.
And sometimes Ann said she is surprised by the people who come into the store who are using heroin.
“Maybe they think it can help them to escape from their problems and they get addicted,” said Ann.
On the other end of town, an employee at a downtown business said she sees people struggling with heroin addiction around town quite a bit.
“I don’t really know what can be done about it,” said Katie Patrick, 24, of Washington Court House, when asked how the heroin addiction in the county can be changed.
Patrick’s father is an active heroin user, and so is her stepmother, she said.
“It started with pharmaceuticals and all that, about 10 years ago. I would say, actually hard core doing heroin, I would say about six years now and it has completely destroyed everything. I feel like I kind of lost them already, like they’re not even the same people,” said Patrick.
Patrick said it’s been hard because she avoids seeing her dad now due to his heroin addiction. For awhile, he tried to hide it. These days, Patrick said he’s open about it—it’s became who he is now, and she doesn’t want her children to be around it.
“At least from my experience and the people I have been around, I think it kind of starts with depression. I just think things start happening and they want something that feels good. And I think once you start using it, if you don’t have a lot of control over yourself, you just won’t stop because that just takes control,” said Patrick.
She said they’ve tried talking about it as a family, but it hasn’t helped.
“You have to want change to make change, so as far as what can be done about it, I don’t know. People are going to keep doing it. It completely changes your way of thinking,” said Patrick.
Patrick isn’t the only young adult in the community whose dad is a heroin addict—Richard Washburn, 23, said someone who has been close to him is now addicted to heroin.
“My dad’s a heroin addict. It’s destroying him,” said Washburn.
Washburn said he’s never tried heroin, and he never will.
“I see what it’s doing to my dad. My father means the world to me. He’s a vet,” said Washburn.
He said he thinks heroin traffickers need to be taken off the streets to stop the drug from killing people.
“Start taking out the foreign countries that’s got it,” said Washburn. And as far as the county goes, Washburn said, “There’s nothing really this community can do for the drug trades that are all over the United States. There’s no way to fight it but for doing our best to track it down.”
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton