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John W. Eyster: A must-read story about one Wisconsin father's fight against heroin

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John W. Eyster
September 3, 2014

I recently read a feature with a very meaningful and hard-hitting personal story about a REAL FATHER and SON who are living in HUDSON, WI. Roger—the father—was shocked as he realized that his son, Phil was dealing with HEROIN ADDICTION! The intensity was increased when I, a long-time citizen of MILTON, WI, realized real life situation took place in the small community of HUDSON, WI in northwestern WI near the Twin Cities in MN. Hudson is about the same size as Milton! REALITY HIT HOME!

I urge all of you to read this article, “A son succumbs to heroin; a father struggles to understand” by Mark Johnson and Jason Silverstein published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last Saturday with all deliberate speed. This is an article which ALL of us need to read to be aware of the REALITY of our contemporary culture. ALL OF US MUST be aware of the REALITY of HEROIN in our culture.

The HEROIN EPIDEMIC in our culture is REAL! Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz's feature in the September 2014 issue of Madison Magazine, “Changing the conversation about HEROIN: Heroin's got a stranglehold on Dane County, as it does on much of the rest of the country. There's no more denying that we've got an epidemic on our hands. Now, what's the solution?” adds additional information with perspective as we live in our CONTEMPORARY CULTURE.

Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz reminds readers that this month, September, is National Recovery Month. She reports on a couple events, including: “Rockin Recovery Rally” on Sept. 13, 11-2 p.m., at the state Capitol and Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Sept. 27, 10-2 p.m., at area collection sites. She recommends the “Parent Addiction Network of Dane County” as a source for information and resources.

I think the opening paragraphs of Mark Johnson and Jason Silverstein's feature article will GRAB YOU TOO and persuade YOU to read the whole article,

“The bond between the father and son could have been like it was in the old days when he spent hours with Phil outside in the yard in Hudson, playing make-believe baseball games until the sun went down. When he took Phil hunting and gave him a cigar to celebrate his first buck; when he passed on his love of hockey and World War II history.

“But in the hospital that day, Roger noticed something about his son's hand. It was clammy. The boy looked as if he could have been the patient. Phil, a newly minted high school graduate, withdrew his hand. He began pacing the room, sweating heavily. Roger couldn't figure out what was wrong.

“Only later did it dawn on him. It was the morphine. The boy coveted his dad's medication.”

The headings in the article will help you see how Mark Johnson and Jason Silverstein develop the article:

A growing problem

Life father, like son

A new world of risk

Searching for answers

Hitting bottom

Adjusting to the surroundings

A moment of true love

The community comes together

More parents helping

Seeking a quiet life

YOU need to read the whole article to appreciate the ZINGER of the conclusion. Don't miss that conclusion!

I urge you to go to this article online using the LINK at the beginning of my blog post because the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has generously provided lists of resources which will be VERY HELPFUL IF you want to follow-up on the HEROIN EPIDEMIC for personal or common good reasons: “Where to get help” and “Signs of addiction.”

We are ALL involved with our culture which has an HEROIN EPIDEMIC! What about being a responsible citizen of our culture for the COMMON GOOD? What do YOU think?


John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Whitewater and an advocate for Project Citizen, a model curriculum for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.


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