Hello, my name is Maddison Crane. I will be a senior at Marquette Catholic High School this fall. This summer I started working at my grandpa’s store, Alton Refrigeration and Home Furnishings. I guess that makes me the first member of the fourth generation of family members involved in the business. One of my duties this summer is to work on community outreach programs for Alton Refrigeration. Our latest project is a five-year commitment to help and support Senior Services Plus in its efforts to upgrade and expand its facilities.
We were invited to a tour at Senior Services Plus by Emily Sutton, development coordinator, and Jonathan Becker, executive director. During this tour, Emily took us around the building and explained to us what each room was used for. I was amazed by all the services and activities they offer to provide everything the seniors in our community need. They deliver five meals each week to senior citizens with Meals on Wheels and also serve very reasonably priced meals at the School House Grill, which is located in their building at 2603 N Rodgers Ave. in Alton. Senior Services Plus has an excellent wellness program that is designed to fit everyone’s needs with a variety of exercise programs and personal trainers to help you along the way. They also have a Foster Grandparent Program that allows senior citizens to volunteer to tutor or mentor children in the community. Another fun thing they offer are group trips, which can be a day trip or an extended trip. The greatest thing I noticed as we were walking through the building was that everyone was happy and excited to be there.
This organization and the people who help run it are truly wonderful and we are so lucky to have this in our community. They could always use helping hands, so give them a call at (618) 465-3298 and volunteer or give a donation at their location at 2603 N. Rodgers Ave. in Alton so Senior Services Plus can continue to do all the great things they do every day!
Heroin, smack, boy, tar ... this drug has many names and in its history, heroin has taken many lives. However, the overdoses of friends and families are now hitting extremely close to home, causing alarm in our citizens to step up and do something about this epidemic. The local government refers to heroin usage as an “outbreak” in Madison County. The truth is, it has always been here … lurking in the shadows of dark alleys and behind the walls of the rich. Heroin does not discriminate based on your tax bracket. It’s easy to get, cheap to obtain and extremely addictive.
While the FDA may be attributing their decision of the reclassification to prescription overdoses, it has caused otherwise sober individuals to look elsewhere for a drug to ease their pain. For example, a doctor will have a patient on a specific painkiller and then just cut them off, causing withdrawals, and from personal experience these withdrawals are painful physically and emotionally. If these patients look in the right places, they can find drugs on the streets. The FDA reclassification causes a straight person to break the law in order to receive a medication they very well could need.
Heroin use will lead to two places — the grave or rehab. Illinois, especially Madison County, is unprepared to handle the overflow of addicts. While places such as WellSpring and a relatively new detox called New Visions (located in Alton Memorial Hospital) will help with detox using methadone or Suboxone, we are lacking in after-care plans. Chestnut in Granite City or WellSpring in Alton both have waiting lists at least a month long.
The question is: if we as a community are committed to beating this epidemic of heroin use, then why are there not more clinics that can immediately help users stay off the drug? Methadone withdrawals are just as bad if not worse than heroin. It takes 30 hours for methadone to reach a half-life in a user’s system and as soon as they start withdrawing and cannot get into a program that will help them in long-term tapering, they will go right back to using. It’s an endless cycle that could be stopped if the government would try to understand that long-term treatment and substance abuse counseling is the only way a user will be able to beat this addiction.
A hospital can detox someone, but without continuous tapering and support the user will use again. Thus it becomes an epidemic.
Consensus among several commentators is that there is often a flurry of interest in political outsiders during the summer, but eventually voters become serious and begin to seek more traditional presidential candidates. 2016 could be different.
A recent GOP poll in Michigan found they picked Trump, Fiorina, Carson and Cruz — three non-officeholders and a senator known for attacking his own party’s leadership. Another Gallup poll showed what is happening in both Democratic and Republican primaries: when asked if corruption is widespread throughout our government, 75 percent, or three out of every four Americans, said they believe it is. So to understand the Trump-Carson-Fiorina-Cruz appeal, think about that number. Compare that to another Gallup poll asked of the Germans. Only 38 percent of Germans say there is widespread corruption in their government. Notice they did not ask if it was a little bit of corruption. On the left there is enormous discontent. Seven years into the first African-American presidency, the Black Lives Matter movement is expressing rage and frustration with him. When Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, is making inroads on a Clinton, “who would have thunk it?” By the way, Greg Matthews, a liberal talk show journalist, recently asked Kathy Wasserman-Schultz, who is the national Democratic Party chairman, what was the difference between a Democrat and a socialist, she could not tell him. On the right they are fed up being lied to by both parties for more than 30 years that the border with Mexico would be sealed.
What is making anti-Washington sentiments more powerful is the degree to which independents and moderates are increasingly disgusted with Washington and politics in general.
Suddenly being a governor or senator or former secretary of state can be interpreted as being part of a system that failed. Fasten your seat belts; this could get interesting!