A worthy voice for region

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On Sunday, Huntington fire chief Jan Rader was a guest on “Meet the Press,” NBC News’ long-running Sunday political news program.

Rader, the first professional female fire chief in West Virginia, an Ironton native and graduate of the city’s high school, is one of three women highlighted in the Netflix documentary “Heroin(e),”  was interviewed by Chuck Todd about the drug epidemic in the region.

Rader told Todd that, in the last few years, her department does not go a day without responding to a call of an overdose and that such runs occupy the bulk of crews’ time.

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She pointed out that those addicted to heroine most often were addicted to prescription painkillers first and switch to heroin to avoid the withdrawal symptoms of being “dope sick.”

Rader called for increased supplies of the anti-overdose drug Narcan for local crews, as well as increased capacities for treatment facilities.

She also highlighted the many success stories for those who have overcome addiction in our region, stating that people have been able to triumph and return to leading normal lives.

Rader’s story and her presentation drew her accolades from Todd and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who was a guest in another segment on the same program.

While no one likes to see the heroin epidemic dominating the headlines that come out of our region, it is good that those like Rader present a strong, positive face for efforts being done to combat it and give testimony and hope to those who seek to beat addiction.

We congratulate Rader for all she has done and wish her continued success in her mission.