The heroin epidemic in Carbon County is killing our children.

I am the parent of a recovering heroin addict, and believe me I am scared every day that I'm going to get the call that my child, too, is dead.

PEOPLE OF CARBON COUNTY WAKE UP!!!!

These are no long our safe little towns, Lehighton, Lansford, Nesquehoning, Palmerton and Summit Hill are all plagued with this disease. And it is just that a "disease" that turns people into liars, thieves, and people into someone their own family and friends don't even recognize.

I don't have all the answers to this problem, but I'd like to make parents aware of what to look for. Some tell tale signs of heroin usage are: water bottle caps lying around, small pieces of cotton (they usually pull the tops off Q-tips), then they put the heroin in the caps with the cotton and water and mix it and suck it in the syringe. Look for hoodie strings, shoe laces anything they can "tie off" with. Small wax coated bags with some kind of rubber stamp on it. This is what heroin comes in. Needle marks (track marks) on the back of hands, arms or anywhere they can hit a vein. Caps from needles lying around, they are often red or orange in color. Then there are the behavioral and physical signs: vomiting, flue like symptoms (dope sick). This is what happens when they are addicted and don't use. Complexion changes, bad acne, weight loss, pale or grayish skin tone. Getting up in the morning and being sick, usually make a phone call, then leave the house and come back well, because they just used.

My daughter told me that she can think of nine people off the top of her head that have died in our area from heroin. How many have to die before something is done????

I believe it has to start at home. Parents need to be aware of the signs. People need to realize this problem exists and is out of control, stop the denial. Stop protesting against places like methadone clinics that could help our children get off this drug.

The police need to stop it from coming into our area. I guarantee if they would set up traffic checks (WITH DRUG DOGS) along Route 248, Route 903 and the Pa. Turnpike, the dealers would stop bringing this drug into the area, or at least they wouldn't be so quick to bring it into the area if they had to use back roads.

In closing, I hope no one else has to bury their children because of this epidemic, but I fear that if something isn't done soon there are going to be more unnecessary deaths.

Sincerely,

Margaret Ringer, Lehighton

abbyonly@yahoo.com