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I’m writing in reference to the Jan. 30 letter by Daniel D. Alman regarding the recent local outbreak of heroin deaths and in conjunction with the more recent death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from suspected heroin use.

The PG placed the headline “Blame Drug Users” on Mr. Alman’s letter. I say, “Blame our social mores.” Part of the problem is that people in our present culture have been taught to use “nonjudgmental” phrases like “drug users” instead of a more honest term like “dope fiend” (for example), which indicates disapproval. For surely we do not approve of hard drug use?

Karl Williams, the Allegheny County medical examiner, by calling the recent heroin deaths a “major public health crisis” seems to fit into this mold. Mr. Alman in his letter called it “a crisis of irresponsible behavior” and “of stupidity.” I could not agree more with Mr. Alman.

Actor Hoffman made a choice the first time he put dope into his body. He now leaves three children deprived of their father. How stupid can you get?

Turtle Creek


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