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Rise in county’s opiate drug use is alarming

    When the older among us were growing up, the mere mention of heroin would have our blood running cold.
    It was the most addictive and most dangerous of the wide spectrum of drugs that began permeating our culture in the 1960s.
    But it wasn’t the province of hippies, college students or those searching for spiritual enligtenment. Heroin addicts were instead inner-city derelicts whose minds and bodies were being eaten alive by a drug pushed in the darkest corners of society.
    On the other hand, we didn’t worry much about heroin. It wasn’t in better parts of cities, it wasn’t in suburbs and it certainly wasn’t in the Mother Lode.
    Until now.
  

Distracted driving a matter of life and death

    Cell phones have become such an integral part of our culture that we react without thinking.
 The phone rings and, even though you’re going 50 mph on a curvy, back road, you begin searching for the phone. You rifle through the cluttered console or reach into your jeans pocket while negotiating a left-hand curve, somehow convinced there is some urgency to the incoming call.
    Two things usually happen: You answer the bleating cell phone without incident, and the call is not at all urgent. In fact, it is never urgent enough that the 30 seconds it might take to pull off the road and return the call legally makes the difference between life and death.
  

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The Union Democrat 05/26/15

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