When the Train Horn Blows: Heroin addiction in Butler County, Ohio–NO NEW TAXES!

We live near a railroad and deep in the night, trains let out their horns announcing that it is approaching a place where it intersects with the road.  The road I live on is rural compared to most in Butler County and it’s a dead-end within a heavily wooded area.  My wife is a housewife so she’s home most of the time and has studied this behavior for years so she knows with some certainty that when the train lets out it’s whistle—not always—but often enough—that the signal has been given to pick up the packages that were thrown off the train near that particular intersection—day and night.  Within those packages are smuggled drugs and other villainous items carried over vast distances by small time traffickers who don’t want to risk the larger shipments through the highway system by tractor-trailer.

My wife and I have some experience with this stuff—we got ourselves into a lot of trouble in Mason, Ohio several years back when we exposed a drug network of marijuana distribution for which the police department was involved in.  Of course the media didn’t want to cover the story because they viewed us as nosy busy bodies poking into other people’s business.  Even the mayor at the time was involved—I sent him video of the drug transactions when the police failed to act—and it just caused us more trouble, not less.  You can’t do much when the law is working with organized crime to sell drugs to a suburbanite neighborhood.  If the law refuses to help good people, the actions at that point are very limited.  Now 16 years later the social trend is even worse, and more libertarian.  Drug tolerance has established, first in our education system, then through our media outlets—movies, video games, and music—then political acceptance of it and the obvious side money that can be made by turning eyes away from the crimes, a landscape of drug use that has made Butler County, Ohio one of the most ravaged drug infested areas of our country—more people die of heroin overdoses than of anything else.  It’s the biggest killer that nobody wants to talk about—because so many people are associated with a little bit of guilt in letting it happen.

As I sit on my porch and watch pick-up trucks drive by my house after retrieving the shipments down by the railroad tracks I get more than a little frustrated.  The law protects those punks from people like me, but the law doesn’t protect me from them.  They are free to bring the vile influence of drugs into my community because nobody wants to stop them.  The police only care when they want to make headlines with a drug bust.  The politicians don’t want to admit that there is a problem, and society loves to get “high” off narcotics—everything from alcohol to heroine—with marijuana use making up the muddy middle.  If there were any justice in the world we’d have a legal system where I could be deputized to just go round-up all these bastards and stop the flow from external outlets—since the police won’t or can’t do it.  I’d do it gladly.   Then if we would defund any public school that takes a soft stance on drug consumption—we might start to turn the tide on the user end.  If a teacher gets caught promoting drugs in any way—they should be fired and the school they worked for penalized with reduced funding.  And anybody caught promoting drugs in a social context should be ridiculed to the ends of the earth.   Here’s why according to the Journal News of Butler County.

The MHARS board has determined it needs about $3.5 million more a year to deal with addictions. Taxpayers already agreed to fund more mental health services by approving a five-year, 1-mill mental health levy on March 15, but dealing with the county’s opiate epidemic will require more funds, officials said.

“We looked at practically addressing the opiate epidemic,” said Scott Rasmus, executive director of the MHARS board. “… It was around $3.5 million as we developed this business plan to address the opiate epidemic in a practical way in Butler County.”

More people died in Butler County from heroin-related overdoses in 2015 than suicides, traffic crashes, other accidents, homicides and undetermined causes combined, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.




Here’s my position on this whole drug problem.  It’s fine for people to have that stupid libertarian outlook on life—that “live and let live” nonsense about if people want to smoke dope, drink themselves into oblivion, or even smoke cigarettes its their right to live as free people and do as they please—even though I can smell a cigarette from a mile away—and it does bother me.  But the moment someone asks me for money in the form of taxes, then the community has made it my business.  I didn’t vote in favor of the 1 mill mental health levy—but it passed.  And now two weeks later the MHARS board is testing the waters with this 3.5 mill levy to deal with the aftermath of this irresponsible drug use which has been promoted by just about everyone from law enforcement to our entertainment culture.  Public schools instead of tackling this issue the way they used to with slogans and marketing against drug behavior has taken a more progressive approach which has exploded the use—so they caused the problem and the only way to fix it is to reverse the trend–not to fund the net result—which is drug addiction.  Giving money to addicts isn’t compassionate, it’s equitable to flushing money right down the toilet—because next year there will be more people dying of addiction—and the year after, even more.  It will continue until our society stops promoting drug use and weak mental behavior.

The answer to the problem isn’t more money to deal with the back of the problem; we have to deal with the front.  When the train blows its whistle, a cop should be there to bust the exchange, not sit up on RT 4 browsing the internet and talking to people on their phone waiting to bust somebody for speeding.   The Sheriff’s department should do a bust of the entire county and scoop up everyone known as a drug dealer.  Of course they’ll say that there isn’t room in their jails for all those people—which is why they’d say that they haven’t done the job up to now.  From their perspective the 3.5 mill levy that the MHARS board is requesting is a small cost compared to the cost of incarceration.  But, right is right—I’d be more prone to support increases in a police budget if they could actually arrest people and put them in jail. If people commit crimes—and drug dealing is a crime—then they should be in jail.

I have no sympathy for drug use or their dealings—I hate both the supplier and the customers.  I see no benefit to drugs, and I am certainly not a libertarian on this issue.  I don’t even like the look of people who might do drugs.  I may be the most conservative person in America on this issue and I understand that my views alone do not rule the world.  I watch the pick-up trucks with disdain as they hull their goods up from the railroad tracks secretly hoping that they will make some move against me that would allow me to confront them on a public road.  But so long as they keep their eyes forward and mind their own business, they can escape that wrath—and they do every week.  I know I am very outnumbered on this issue—and I respect the decisions of the people within my community.  We have a representative republic and decisions have been made at the ballot box to allow for our present circumstances, so I bite my tongue for the benefit of everyone.  But let me tell you this dear reader—DON’T ASK ME FOR ANY DAMN MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS SHIT!  If you want to fix the trouble—FIX IT. If the Sheriff’s department wants my help in solving the problem—I will volunteer in a heartbeat.  But don’t fund more of the problem—fix it at its source.  That is the only way forward.  And if you want to know where to start, listen for the train whistles around the countryside of Butler County and watch which cars leave those areas about 15 minutes later.  That’s when you will have an easy drug bust.  Prosecuting them and putting them in a crowded jail is another matter.  But at least the paper trail of bad behavior can be established to begin to solve the massive problem that drugs in Butler County truly is.

Rich Hoffman


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