Whitesburg KY

Reader worried about the future of Letcher County

To the Editor

“You can’t go home again.” I have heard that familiar phrase many times. Until recently I never realized how profound and true those five little words could be. During a recent visit to my beloved Letcher County, these words really hit home for me.

I am appalled and angry at the rampant prescription drug abuse and the thriving business of prescription drug sales that goes on in Letcher County.

My own family has been destroyed by this plague. My elderly parents have been financially ruined. My father is in his 80s and my mother is in her 70s and they no longer have their burial funds and are now being sued for bills they cannot pay. They are living proof that drug addictions affect whole families, not just the addicts themselves.

Their adult grandsons take every penny they can get from them to support their pill habit and to allegedly make trips out of state to buy even more pills. Both of these adults are known throughout Letcher County for their OxyContin use and their alleged prescription drug sales. Their story is just one among many in this painful epidemic that affects countless families across the U.S. and is especially prevalent in Letcher County.

In attempts to stop this plague in my own family, to my dismay I have discovered that phone calls to Letcher County agencies and Operation UNITE fall upon deaf ears. If help is not found within these agencies, one must ask is there any help for the drug plague that is destroying Letcher County? In many cases, as in my own, personal attempts at intervention are simply not enough, and require some outside help, and as things are now, that help is just not being provided.

Even though I left Letcher County more than 20 years ago it has always remained home to me.

Sadly now, while reflecting on my last visit to the area, I see and am worried about the ever-growing drug epidemic and the dire outlook for the future of my beloved Letcher County and those five little words are more true than I ever could have thought possible . . . when your home has been destroyed by addiction, you can’t go home again!

ELLA WRIGHT Prattville, Ala.

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