To the Editor:

It may seem unusual to write a letter about an article featured in another newspaper, the recent New York Times story, “Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football”.

From the perspective of a Madison resident, it appears fitting to offer a local response to the impression vast numbers of readers worldwide may have drawn from this commentary.

I was deeply moved by Ms. Juliet Macur’s insightful reporting on the deadly maladies plaguing the youth of our community. The story should be recommended reading for all in Jefferson County, including the 311 comments, which range from wise to witless.

There are substantial resources from committed individuals and organizations in place to address these well-known problems.

However, it will require bold action with leadership on the magnitude of a local Marshall Plan to alter the current dangerous trajectory opiates, social dislocation and economic despair have created.

Having remarkable role models like Coach Patric Morrison instills optimism for the future of America’s young people, from Madison to Manhattan.

Let’s hope the next national coverage of our beloved Ohio River community can be about progress in conquering these afflictions, along with focusing on the area’s crown jewels like Clifty Falls, Hanover College and the well-attended festivals enjoyed by thousands of visitors.

Phil Mullins