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November 10, 2013

I was born and raised in Williamsport. I lived there for 23 years before I felt the need to leave, something I never thought I would do....

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Nov-10-13 2:14 AM

Wow, very powerful letter. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Ms. Muhs.

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Nov-10-13 2:53 AM

****** use is a personal choice. Williamsport did not thrust it upon her. Williamsport did not send her out on a cold, dark night to meet her dealer so she could make a buy. Williamsport did not hold her down and put a needle in her arm. She chose to use ******. (Oh, and it's ******, not ******e... a word that has completely different meaning). If you want to blame Williamsport for your sister's ****** use, you are barking up the wrong tree. Blame your sister. She chose to use ******. Does this sound like a cold, hard slap in the face? Can you handle reality? Deal with it. As a native and lifelong resident of Williamsport I refuse to take the blame for your sister's self-imposed death sentence. She (sadly) made that decision all by herself. By the way, when did she start to use ******? About three years ago? Right after you left town? Do you have a mirror handy? When you point the finger at others there are three fingers pointing right back at you. {Art Fold out} <microphone drop&g

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Nov-10-13 2:55 AM

Seriously "Sun-Gazette" you are going to censor the word h-e-r-o-i-n? wtf? You have had front page articles about the drug! Grow a pair!

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Nov-10-13 5:42 AM

"What has happened to my home?" - Monica Muhs


We give-up...what?? YOU'RE the person who "felt the need to leave".

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Nov-10-13 6:27 AM

I agree with Capricorn. The disgruntled old men who posted thereafter should be ashamed. yes, ashamed. This woman lost her sister and AF does his best talk radio impersonation and Shaman babbles on. Who are you AF to throw pain and questioning in the face of another? Lack of compassion, finger pointing, unmitigated sanctimonious (bs) flung at a grieving family member is just as much a choice as the first use of a drug. Everyone chooses to believe it can not be a member of their family.Grow up.

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Nov-10-13 6:43 AM

Thank you Spike for calling them out. This epidemic can afflict any family and all walks of life, and it's wide spread throughout this city and this nation. I have a niece that is an addict and she has had nothing but support from family and everything has been tried from intensive counseling to inpatient rehabilitation. It's a disease like any other disease and it brings so much heartache to so many families. Sitting back thinking it will never effect you or your family and chastising those that it has, is extremely insensitive.

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Nov-10-13 7:13 AM

There was never a h*e*r*o*I*n*e problem until the U.S. Government became the biggest financer and transporter of the stuff. They need to get out of Afghanistan.

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Nov-10-13 7:16 AM

I am deeply sorry to hear about the death of your youngest sister. May the love of your family and friends help you through the pain in the days ahead. The passing of a loved one can be very hard due of the deep emotions involved. Wanting and needing comfort and support, those who grieve may lash out at those who are not at fault. Monica, while drug usage is epidemic, it is a personal choice to start down that road, no one made your sister take the drug. While Williamsport may hold some blame for the ease at which one can purchase drugs, it is not the sole reason. May your sorrow be lightened by the love that surrounds you.

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Nov-10-13 7:19 AM

Slick, sadly enough you are correct. It's another unfortunate cost to that war. The Taliban eradicated 99% of the opiate production prior to the war but the U.S. government chose to turn a blind eye once they drove the Taliban out in order to gain intelligence.

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Nov-10-13 7:20 AM

radioactive, you assume you know too much about the private lives of others. All you really know is what is shown to you on the outside. many people who lack nurturing families never use drugs. Conversely, many from the "best" families with good and unknowing parents begin the use of drugs. Acting as if this town and many others have not changed is denial. Acting as if her oin use is not at an all time high and flooding the streets across the country is denial. I have no idea who the writer is, what neighborhood she lived in or what church her family attended. However, since you apparently attend the same church as the parents of this woman attended, I have a suggestion. Take this letter and your post to your minister, or clergy this morning and ask their opinion of your comment. Take their response to heart.

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Nov-10-13 7:41 AM

Every old Williamsporter is well aware of how the drug and crime that follows it has progressed over the years, the same can be said for surrounding cities. It is not just a Williamsport problem although it probably started there first in the area.

I sympathize with the writer and do not feel the need to attack her or her sister and those that do are part of the problem by turning a blind eye. I chose to leave the area long before the drug problem emerged and have never looked back, but it does sadden me to watch it unfold.

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Nov-10-13 7:50 AM

I do not know this family and will not comment.

However, we are sending a mixed message to our youth today with regard to drugs.

We glamorize pot use in movies and have legalized it via debate that it is "harmless".

While mostly true, we also know that, for some, pot is a gateway drug to far more damaging substances, such as hero-in.

K am not advocating a return to the stupidity of the war on drugs mentality that would prosecute individuals for small amounts of pot possession.

I suggest, instead, that we get far better at communicating the dangers if drugs, like hero-in (easy). We must get better at identifying those who are subject to the gateway effect (very difficult).

The real problem is that this gateway effect is not well-studied and supported by science.

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Nov-10-13 8:22 AM

Wow I would love to know who radioactive is and how they know so much about me and my family. I guess I should be thanking you mysterious person for my success in life, it was all your help and charity that earned me a Bachelors degree and a registered nurses license Oh and I should tell my brother to contact you too, to thank you for all the help you gave him in obtaining his Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering as well. For having such awful emotional problems and horrible parents I guess 2/3 success rate is not horrible. I don'd deny that we had a pretty hard upbringing but you make it sound like we were destined to fail. If you have regrets for the help you provided why blame me as a child when there was absolutely nothing I could do to change my situation? I did change my situation I left Williamsport, so did my brother. My sister stayed and was the one to get caught up in the drug life of Williamsport. I feel if she would have left too it may not have ended like this so soo

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Nov-10-13 8:28 AM

My blaming Williamsport in a small part for her death is for the fact that the young people of Williamsport have nothing to do and no where to go. There is no upward mobility here. You go from one minimum wage job to another. You may marry and become a little better off but there is nothing there to keep young professional people. When you live in a small town where there are drugs in large part everywhere and all your friends are doing it, its only a matter of time before you do it as well. I lost my sister but for her absence there are still hundreds more who are still using.

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Nov-10-13 8:46 AM

Correct about the upward mobility. I recognized this years ago, and when my daughter was accepted at college, she took out student loans, I took out parent loans and sacrificed a lot to get her through school and into graduate school. She's nearly done with her doctorate now, lives far away from here in another state, and is poised to accept a position with a firm with a starting salary 2x what I make after working all these years.

It's hard that she's far away, and I don't get to see her much, but she will have a much better life than she would have staying around here.

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Nov-10-13 9:28 AM

Using any mind-altering substance is a personal choice. Selling illegal drugs or alcohol only happens because there’s a very profitable market for them. You can’t blame a location for the market; it’s the people and their attitude that’s to blame. Many people can use alcohol or drugs and not become addicted so they look the other way until someone does become addicted and then they look for something to blame, The users are to blame, whether they are addicts or not.

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Nov-10-13 9:37 AM


I don't see where you can blame the city of Williamsport for your sister's death. Tragic as it was it was her doing and the drug she used. Professional people use drugs and die for the overuse of it. It is an addiction that kills and it doesn't discriminate when it does so. Drug problem you cited is across the country not in small towns like Williamsport. You even have drug use in large successful urban and metropolitan areas.

While I am sorry for your loss blaming the city is not going to solve the problem. It is problem being faced by all communities across this country and the world.

Your anger over her death is misplaced. It should be on the drugs that are available and the people who make money off of it and the lack of resources to fight against it and to treat it. Lashing out at a city for a past resentment is not going to solve the problem or help others who find themselves like your sister.

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Nov-10-13 10:10 AM

I find that the older individuals who post know the least about substance abuse are the most opinionated.Erik has a very good comment, as does Cap.. HpyVly, I am so sorry for your loss. Substance abuse occurs everywhere. Her oin, morp ine and op ium have been around a long time and so have addicts. Mor phine was readily available and uncontrolled until 1914. Addiction was everywhere and acquisition was legal. The history of controlled substances is interesting reading.

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Nov-10-13 10:52 AM

in all its horror as you might see it, its a very tame and safe area compared to other places around the country. Try Trenton, Chicago some areas around Atlanta to name a few. Having said that, as crime and drug use seems to be picking up, its up to all its citizens to stand up and make it dificult for these drug dealers to take hold. Walking away and leaving the area is just giving it to them.

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Nov-10-13 1:43 PM

Spike I’ve always thought that ingesting, injecting or inhaling something that came from a street dealer with who knows what kind of manufacturing process and handling was beyond being risky, I’ve known many people who did just that and weren’t junkies. It seems to me that there isn’t enough money in the junky market to attract the big time crime cartels, but I’m one of those opinionated older people. I’m interested in hearing your take on that.

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Nov-10-13 3:05 PM

"...the young people of Williamsport have nothing to do and no where to go."

I disagree.

Life is what you make of it, not what is handed to you.

Young people have grown up here without ever going on drugs.

The gas industry is actively looking for locals willing to work and who can pass a drug test. The industry pays for education.

So, the whole argument about a lack of things to do, no upward mobility is BS. It is here and available for anyone who wants it, even those without college educations.

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Nov-10-13 3:41 PM

Ditto on Cap's comment.

Artfold, how cold, how very cold. There but by the grace of God, go I!

Spike, Helpful and needful support. If someone can't hear this person's pain, I feel sorry for you indeed.

Sham/John, As per your usual style of thoughtless and calloused commentary, you're a jerk.

Radio, Sometimes, we say more when we say less...just isn't your place to admonish this woman in a public forum.

Chuck, "Your anger over her death is misplaced."

So, now you are a licensed psychiatrist?

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Nov-10-13 4:01 PM

Underwood - of course a cartel isn't present in this area. However, like any business, shops are open depending on the demand a business can create for their product. Think of it as Walmart online, a regular Walmart and a Super Walmart. Walmart also owns Sam's club. Think of a cartel as corporate offices for Walmart. Of course there are many more layers to the drug industry. it doesn't matter if you buy at the smallest division or the largest, the money eventually goes to the top. As to why, people would ingest, inject, ask a junkie or a drug and alcohol agency. We can no more answer why as non-users than someone who does not have cancer can tell you how a patient truly feels, physically and emotionally. Why do some become alcoholics and others not? If we had the answers to frailties of human nature we could successfully treat and prevent with a greater portion of the "addicted" or "junkies" as you call these folks.

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Nov-10-13 4:35 PM

Spike, any business profits because it provides a product or service people are willing to spend some of their resources for. None would exist, let alone profit, if it wasn’t for a demand for their product or service. Businesses don’t create the demand; they fill it. I should’ve said addicts instead of junkies. By cartels, I was referring to organizations.

I wouldn’t compare the criminal illegal drug business with legal businesses; there is no comparison. I also wouldn’t compare drug use or addiction with cancer or any other illness. Drug use is voluntary while illness isn’t.

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Nov-10-13 5:06 PM

I also wouldn’t compare drug use or addiction with cancer or any other illness. Drug use is voluntary while illness isn’t. -Phil

Phil, consider heart disease, the leading cause of death, it's partly due to genes and partly due to poor life style choices such as bad diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. The same is true for other common diseases like adult-onset diabetes. Many forms of cancers are due to a combination of genes and life style. But if your doctor said that you had diabetes or heart disease, you wouldn't think you were bad person. You would think, "What can I do to overcome this disease?" That is how you should approach addiction.

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