The second part of The Mountaineer’s series on drugs in Haywood County will focus primarily on the collateral damage caused by addiction.
The harm done to those left in the deceptively wide wake of someone’s addiction can be astonishing. From the unborn to the average taxpayer, very few lives remain unaffected.
Those closest to a drug abuser often shoulder the brunt of the weight. Drugs can turn parents from attentive to abusive in short time, leading to greater burden on the foster care system and an increased likelihood of the child experiencing issues as they approach adulthood.
And children of addicts can be affected before they even take their first breath. As opioids continue to poison the county, rates of addiction among newborns have increased substantially.
To fuel drug habits, many addicts will also steal whatever they can get their hands on to net some quick cash. The rising rates of drug-fueled property crimes and the taxpayer dollars used to fund the court system, law enforcement and treatment programs affect every citizen.
Sometimes, addicts have to deal with the collateral damage from their own decisions decades down the road. Even if someone has kicked the habit and worked diligently and proactively toward improving their circumstance, a single felony on their record severely limits their opportunities.