Regarding “To Fear or Not to Fear: A Little Understanding Can Go a Long Way in West Asheville,” by Shannon Spencer [Mountain Xpress, Nov. 21]:
Dayton, Ohio, has reduced overdose deaths by 54 percent over the last 12 months. For the various reasons, see “The Treatment Gap: This City’s Overdose Deaths Have Plunged. Can Others Learn From It?” The New York Times, Nov. 25 [avl.mx/5g7].
Included: “(Police) Chief Biehl was fully supportive of the city’s decision to set up a syringe exchange in 2014. Research has consistently found that such programs, which allow people who inject drugs to trade dirty needles for clean ones, prevent deaths related to infections like HIV, hepatitis C and endocarditis.” Chief Biehl goes on to say that these various initiatives “are absolutely consistent with our public mission to save lives.”
I applaud Shannon Spencer’s efforts to save lives.
— Robert Counce