I was saddened to read that there were more victims to the heroin epidemic. It is easy to become desensitized to the problem. The Dec. 17 headline is a further example of this. “Man Sold Bad Heroin.” Is that to infer there is good heroin? Of course not.

We need to take a stance and say these “recreational” drugs are bad for individuals and society, including the marijuana debate going on in society.

We talk about prescription medication leading to the heroin problem but want to ignore other gateway drugs that lead to dependency. What came first, the chicken or the egg?We will never be able to attract industry and higher-paying jobs to our area if our workforce is undertrained, addicted to drugs or unmotivated to work.

I see these drugs destroying families, which gives the next generation even less than a chance to succeed. Police and the courts need to take a hard stance against those selling these drugs to our children!

Fr. Christopher Malatesta

  • Nick Dayal

    Props for bringing this topic up,

    There is a stigma attached to opiate users/abusers/addicts. Opiate use is an epidemic because people are afraid to talk about it. We’re willing to discuss Alcohol, which kills millions of people across the world each year… we have commercials, slogans, signs, school education-all because alcohol is legal and isn’t a taboo subject.

    Closed mouths will kill us. People die every day. I know a lot of people who feel “alone” or “ashamed” for their opiate abuse when it’s no different than any other drug- except that it it has a higher rate of dependency and related deaths.

    When people talk things happens. When things happen communities can change.

    I don’t believe selling drugs is okay. But arresting people and filling jails with non-violent drug criminals, many of which have habits of their own, doesn’t solve the problem.

    You take heroin off the street, it makes some other drug dealers’ heroin more valuable.


    It’s a fact of life, but whether an individual says “yes” or “no,” is not an inevitable “yes.”
    In that there is hope.


    So as an economist how do you change this equation?


    You help addicts. Educate the youth. Put money into drug rehabilitation centers, not prisons.

    I’ve witnessed people who I knew for a fact would never stop, would never change their lives. Would always be a digesting person who I’d never want a part of my life.

    Now, I look up to some of these people.

    There are some people I’ve idolized. People who had (and some who still have) so much to offer the world and so much going for them that I never thought a substance would diminish them to individuals, some of which, I walk right by if I see them. Like they don’t exist.

    And they do.

    So I’m guilty of the same bull shit. I’m a hypocrite… I see somebody I’ve known my whole life at Big Y but I don’t want to say hi to them because I’m with my someone else and don’t want to be associated with them.

    I’ve been ostracized in my life. And we shouldn’t walk by our friends anymore. If you truly want to help someone, let’s talk.

    We’ve buried enough people. Enough kids. Too many.

    The beauty in all this is that there is help.

    I am working closely with many different groups and individuals in Berkshire County aimed at building support, a lot of which already exist, and simply connecting the these people and organizations- networking people all simply trying to get better.

    If you have any ideas, thoughts or suggestions, feel free to e-mail me at nickdayal44@gmail.com

    I welcome any input,

    Thank you once again for bringing up this topic. I’m sick of burying friends, it’s time to lift this community on it’s feet.

    The town lost some of it’s flavor with the construction. It’s starting to look nice. But that covers up some of the problems underneath.

    Statistically, the youth are moving out of Berkshire County.

    This place needs a spark.

    All the best,
    Nick Dayal