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From the Editor: Delaware's Fight Against Addiction

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Delaware Today Editor Scott Pruden

SCOTT PRUDEN • EDITOR//PHOTO BY LUIGI
CIUFFETELLI

Let’s talk for a moment about those pills in your medicine cabinet. You know, the ones you got for that strained back. Or maybe it was a broken rib. Or perhaps that surprise appendectomy.

For me, it was a leg, broken in two places on a weekend visit to New York City. While suffering through the agonizing Manhattan hospital visit, I was worried that I wasn’t getting enough pain medication. But after each of the two surgeries by my excellent doctor at Christiana Care Health System to repair the damage, I quickly realized the meaning of “too much of a good thing” when it came to that bottle of Percocet capsules I was prescribed.

Did I hurt? Absolutely. Did I, for a time, require the heavy-duty opioid painkillers? Oh, yes. Fortunately, my wife and I were aware of the risk inherent in dealing with any kind of potentially addictive substance and resolved to taper them off as soon as possible. Today, it’s strictly over-the-counter.

For one reason or another, others can come to depend on the pain-dulling qualities of doctor-prescribed medications. For some, that means acquiring them through theft or subterfuge; for others, it means moving on to illegal opioids like heroin, only to get trapped in the downward spiral that follows.

This cycle has come to define the modern drug crisis, and presents new challenges to treatment, care and recovery nationwide and here in Delaware. In his feature story Here’s How Delaware is Rallying Public and Private Resources to Fight the Opioid Crisis, writer Dan Metz takes stock of the resources, both private and public, the state is marshaling to fight the addiction epidemic and provide treatment to those who need it. It’s a battle we’re unlikely to win right away, but one that, as Dan illustrates, many good people wage every day on behalf of those who are suffering.

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We’d also like to acknowledge the passing of Mary Louise Ponsell of Wilmington on April 7 at the age of 84. In addition to her many accomplishments as a Delaware journalist and communicator, Mary Lou, as she was known to friends and colleagues, was the editor and co-publisher of the then bi-monthly Delaware Today from 1966 to 1971.

As she noted in her remembrance for our 50th anniversary celebration in 2012, at the time Delaware Today was the only print news alternative to then separate and highly competitive newspapers The Wilmington Morning News and The Evening Journal (both of which she’d previously worked for as a copy editor).

She was also a member of the American Pen Women Diamond State Branch and was a longtime member of the Delaware Press Association, which honored her with its “Communicator of Achievement” award in 1999.

Thank you, Mary Lou, for your contributions to what we’ve become at Delaware Today, and our deepest condolences go out to your family.

—Scott Pruden

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