What we need to do to stop this senseless
and tragic loss of our people to substance abuse
My viewpoint- Go here (updated
Other important aspects of substance abuse-
works but there is much too little of it available!!
treatment could be better!!
outline. current news and examples of just how stupid our government
does it really work?
Parent support groups.- Families
When your kids are doing drugs and you're at your wits end you have to
turn to someone to keep your sanity. Support groups work yet few avail
themselves of it and fewer still realize that they have to change
in order to effectively manage yourself during long term crisis situations
as critical as this. Sadly, most parents don't measure up to the very tough
task they face and in fact "enable" the addict to continue his ways unabated.
So once you get to this stage, all, I can say is God bless you.
website. Good site for parents/siblings of those who are addicted.
will help. Staying married
is helpful too. In fact, I doubt my son would have gotten into the mischief
had my marriage remained intact.
take a look at this suicide link at www.rtphome.org/spannnc
Suicide and substance abuse are interrelated. One can cause the other!
Suicide like substance abuse is preventable and there are several links
like to www.yellowribbon.org that help
with this horrendous problem. Also, this one
is a must read if you are contemplating suicide. Its a very clear, concise
and brief site
thoughts. Here's a smorgasbord of ideas that others are trying. Also,
about raves and the City of Charlotte dance hall ordinance. Dec
A few stats
(needs some work)
by Mike Jones Oct
1999 (updated 2/14/01)
One way to look at this perspective is to compare
my parents generation to our generation- the vaunted baby boomers.
I recently attended a WWII reunion of the 483rd Bombardment group in Oklahoma
City. My stepfather, Dick Floyd, flew 35 missions out of Stephone(sp)
Italy in the last few months of the war. This
reunion was a unique and insightful look at my parents generation. He and
my Mom reminisced with the remaining 4 members of his 10 man flight crew,
their spouses and 125 or so of the 4500 other Americans who served with
that group sometime during the war. Their harrowing stories of death narrowly
escaped while the horrible thoughts of the many who perished plummeting
to the ground below were particularly riveting. Now for those lucky enough
to still be alive, life has come full circle. The sound of their warm banter
rebounds around the room. I can sense the inner peace within themselves
and feel the incredible camaraderie that for many might had been dormant
for a very long time. There is much to celebrate too. They rebuilt
America from the great depression. They defeated enemies who practiced
evil of epic proportions. They rebuilt the world from the ashes of the great
war. They completed their mission at great sacrifice but without vindictiveness
and rancor. They came home, built families, communities and a powerful
economic engine. One can only come away from such a heartfelt gathering
in awe of our parents generation accomplishments. There is no doubt
that this generation is this century's greatest and I felt very privileged
and in awe to be able to participate in this humbling event.
As you guess, I'm a baby boomer and while it was
easy growing up to point out our parents failures such as civil rights,
the Vietnam war, Watergate, environmental abuses and other "faults", those
concerns pale besides the life and death drama that they fought. We were
so naive! We grew up in a far better environment then our parents did.
Yet, we rebelled against our parents ideals and morals. We rejected for
the most part the commitment and sacrifice to our country that they so
Now we too have come full circle and we face our
own day of reckoning. I wonder how we will stack up? I know for myself
and a few others we still remain at war. This war is amongst ourselves.
There are no Nazi panzers to stop. We lose one son
here-a daughter there- but the faces and the tragedies all get blurred
or hidden amongst all the other daily news. Millions of others are thrown
in jail to endure mind numbing and spirit crushing incarceration.
Many others suffer too but just don't get caught. Families are broken.
Where will it end? What will the next generation be like? I
believe that we have failed. We have allowed the cancer of immorality and
the pursuit of pleasure without responsibility to loosen the cornerstones
of our society. We have so much but really we have so little. It's
no wonder that in a recent poll that most Americans feel our souls are
undernourished. It is no wonder that substance abuse permeates our society.
Consequently, that's how I view our struggle today
-as a war that will last as long as times are good and we remain
a land of plenty. Our only hope is to attempt to reduce the scope
of the carnage. We'll also have to pray that the next generation
learned a great lesson from the rite of passage that drugs have become
for them. I think they have but the scars run quite deep.
Still, there is much that we can do to help this
next generation as well as soften the environment for the generation behind
them. We just need to stop fighting this war the way we fought the Vietnam
war. Some say we contained communism for all those years and it was worth
the price. I disagree as it seemed to me to be a tragic waste of life.
So to conclude I believe our best war plan is to be adopting positive changes
that will effect generations to follow. It took a generation for substance
abuse to become such a pervasive problem. It will take another generation
to correct it. I just hope and pray that like our parents in W.W.II that
we have the courage to fight this war the way it needs to be fought...and
that's in full battle gear.
Here are several key areas:
Strengthen and promote the Family and curb divorce.
Require parental education courses in order to receive a marriage license.
Make divorce more difficult by requiring counseling. Do away with this
no-fault divorce. Do a better job of parenting. Realize that our goal is
to raise a responsible adult, not a perpetual child. (John
Rosemond and Focus on the Family)
. Help single people with the awesome and overwhelming responsibilities
of raising children. (Andrea Engber-single
mothers and also women
for fatherhood). Provide drug education (parenting
and college) but evaluate current programs like DARE for their
Show kids healthy ways to live. Imbed health
education within each school grade. Teach them to get high on life. Give
them tips on how to minimize the tendency to hurt themselves when things
don't go their way. Help kids at risk deal with growing up in neighborhoods or
in families where substance abuse is a regular way of life. Now that's a tough
Help kids help themselves find there way in life.
them feel important about themselves. Show how others found there way despite
very difficult odds. Everyone has a purpose in life and a destiny to fulfill
and I think we collectively do a poor job of helping shepherd our kids through
this core question of life which is "What am I doing here and what is
my noble purpose?"
Hold Kids responsible for their actions. Make them
suffer the consequences for those actions Don't
bail them out of jail if they get in trouble but more importantly emphasize
often that you will not bail them out if they get in trouble. Read the
notices in the paper about court judgments to them around the supper table.
Let them know that real people end up in jail and you won't help extricate them
from there troubles.
Our schools have become the place to go to
drugs or abuse substances. That to me is a prime factor in the huge
increase in teenage drug usage. In addition, most have SA policies that
actually encourage usage especially in their suspension policies. For example,
in 1998 Michael Eidson
was suspended from East Rowan High school for a drug violation. Due
to the timing of this 10 day suspension around the Easter holiday, Michael
would have been out of school for almost a month. So here's a kid who has
a whole month basically off. What's he going to do? well, he took drugs
and on the night of April 8, he took prescription morphine drugs thinking it was
an upper. Sadly, he was wrong and it
killed him. Schools (there is some change in policy though nothing as strong
as I would like to see) have changed there policy somewhat but still they
have a 10 day suspension policy. In addition, if they can't afford to pay
for a drug treatment program they may be suspended for a year. This is
a big disservice to our community. I realize it's a stigma issue and there
is a cost to finding ways in which to house these policy violators but
it's amazing the resistance that I've seen from school administrators in
changing this policy. They consider suspensions as punishment while many kids
view this as a badge of honor and an opportunity to have fun. Go figure!
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies!
Our schools have become havens for the distribution
of legal drugs like Ritalin. In fact, some teachers citing inattention,
restlessness and other normal childhood behavior use this as justification to encourage
parents to have there child placed under medication. Some say that there
misguided efforts are leading as many of 10% of our school children down
the path of future drug addiction. Ritalin itself is a heavily abused drug
and frequently sold illegally to other students. I have much more on
this troubling problem on this page.
Law Enforcement has got to do a better job
of getting drugs off the streets. A lot of these drug dealers aren't like
your friendly neighborhood grocery store operators. They kill their competition,
push their products on vulnerable consumers and enslave their workers.
They corrupt our law enforcement, clog our courts and fill our jails with
young people that they have enticed, coerced and threatened to do their
dirty work. They are evil people that have to be stopped. They are the
driving force behind much of destruction that is going on. They are our
modern day Nazi's.
Law enforcement, government and the treatment and
medical community need to come together and tackle the addiction side
of the equation. This is like a business where 20% of the market (addicts)
consume 80% of the product. If we could put all the addicts in treatment or in
jail if they refuse to quit, the dealers will have a devastating blow dealt to them. Not
many would stay in business losing 80% of there market share!! Interesting in
rowan county, there is a drug court that will starting some time in 2001. In
many communities this approach has dramatically reduced substance abuse. Let's
hope it does here too.
Stop or severely restrict the advertising and marketing
practices of alcohol and tobacco producers. Alcohol advertisers have
slyly imbedded themselves within every sport and "fun"
activity there is in this country. Whether you are a spectator on the sidelines
or a participant after the game the message is that beer and sports are
inseparatable. If that's not enough they slant their advertising message
towards kids. Heck, the Budweiser frogs have been the number
one kid commercial for 1998-99. It out polls Pepsi, pizza
hut, McDonalds, etc. I'm surprised they haven't come out with Budweiser
non-alcoholic baby formula! Such is the incessant demand to push their
brand. Even our easily bought out government
asks them to voluntarily stop using cartoonist advertising programs. "Phat"
chance of that happening!
Restrict products that tend to promote drunkenness.
are ice beers with 5% or more alcohol content and other large capacity
beers like the big 24 oz. ones they are promoting. Then there was
one product named "Phatboy" It was the equivalent of 5 beers!! Now
..what are they promoting!! It certainly isn't moderation!! Also, inexpensive
procedures like keg registration should be implemented. Bar and Lounges
should be better educated about their role's as alcohol purveyors. What
is the purpose of shots of liquor anyway? Should that be allowed?
treatment above incarceration.
We sacrifice so many lives because short-sighted elected officials think
threats and imprisonment are the way to minimize substance abuse. That
might work for the casual user but it doesn't work if they are already
hopelessly addicted. That's the way we ought to be looking at treating
this addiction-the same way we look at diabetes. You don't go to
your local sheriff to be treated for diabetes so why do we send them our
Provide treatment in prisons. Some already
do but I doubt if most county jails do.
Some treatment methods need to be reformed.
With Tommy, Amethyst
Charlotte did a terrible job. We should sue them but they went out of business
in 2000. But then there
was Hope Valley. Tommy really liked it but they were not very familiar
with heroin addiction.
Get the greed factor out of the equation. The
huge profits that are being made goes a long way in making drugs so available.
Then we do an incredible poor job of preventing these substances from entering
the country. The NAFTA agreement is a perfect example of how Clinton and
everyone else who is suppose to be responsible on how they put profits above
all else. I firmly believe that if NAFTA had not of passed in 1994 our
precious son and brother, Thomas Michael Jones would still be alive today.
There would be far less cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth amphetamine
use in this country. Unfortunately, it will almost impossible to reverse NAFTA.
so we are stuck with being awash in drugs. In addition, in 2001 the Mexicans
will be able to deliver product to anywhere in the USA. They had been stopped at
the border (Clinton's pay back to the Teamsters union). I fear and many concur
in the law enforcement community that this will make it much more easier to get
drugs into this country.
There is another side going on in this world and that's
minimization . With heroin I'm following
the experiments on supplying it to addicts in Holland and Switzerland.
I don't know if that's the best thing to do. Probably not though. I do
correspond with one mother in Holland. Her son has been in the program since its
inception. Unfortunately, her son continues to use. She had hoped this
would help him quit but so far it hasn't.
(There's more when I get a chance)