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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mom and Dad Use

I seldom, if ever, repeat blog entries. Today, I want to repost a revised portion of an earlier entry because the summer is a time in the life of area youth full of leisure and extended opportunities to engage in new experiences. Summer is a time when parents and loved ones should be especially vigilant of these young people. Mixed with good times come temptations. Some of the bad choices available to youth have the potential to destroy their lives. I hope no one takes a wrong turn during such formative years. 

Some youth in the county are already victims of dire circumstances. They need assistance to break the chains that bind them to abuse. These individuals are not meant to be fodder in the drug wars. They live lives that offer little positive growth. Unfortunately, many people help perpetuate the attitude that second and third generation "trash" will never change, will always abuse, and will be nothing more than self-determined lost souls.

We must change this harsh view and intervene to assist families that abuse. Here is the earlier post. I include it here to dramatize the reality in hopes that the writing will bring forth good fruit and much needed help.

Imagine Being This Child

From birth, you have watched your parents secure prescription opioid drugs. Both of your parents have become addicted to those drugs themselves.

Since the drugs have ravaged and debilitated your parents, your mom and dad have lost the ability to secure and hold jobs. So, they continually sell chemicals they do not ingest themselves. Because it is relatively simple for them to make cash by dealing, they use money acquired from drug transactions to pay their bills and to finance their lives.

The only money flow you have ever seen in the household comes from a stash of drug money.

Living a meager existence, you barely survive in a life surrounded by criminal activity. You have heard about morality but you really don't understand the concept. Most rules that others abide by are meaningless to you because your so-called good intentioned role models are addicted and actively breaking the law. However, you do know your place in the family.

With every ounce of understanding and logic you possess, you realize you are secondary to the drugs. Without the money the pills provide, you go hungry and your family dissolves. You rightly depend upon your parents to provide a clean, safe, and healthy environment, but you clearly understand that the biggest dependent in the household is not you, it is your addicted parents.

Even when your parents preach to you about the dangers of addiction and beg you never to take drugs, you realize that your role models do not “practice what they preach.” They expect you to be a better person than they, yet your reality is the horrors of their addiction. Nothing really makes sense to you.

As you get older and you enter school, you realize that your classmates and their families know what your mother and father do, so you become labeled a "druggie" yourself. You seek the companionship of others like yourself, and you readily find other "druggies" who become your close friends. As you and your friends face the constant ridicule of the "good crowd," you find solace in rejecting rules and ideals. This misbehavior begins to dominate your view of good sense.

You have never taken a drug in your life. But, eventually, you reach a crossroads. As you weigh the possible outcomes of sampling the product, you consider your trusted environmental circumstances. Of course, you take the obvious path that you already know by heart. What else could a rebel like you do?

You stare into a dim future. As time passes, you have no real expectations of doing anything except continuing the family trade. The pills become your best friend and your ticket to escaping a grim reality. You embrace your circumstances. And, of course, you soon have the added burden of raising a family of your own.

These children are lost in America, lost in Scioto County. They are not lost lives but lost in the sense that they need a new GPS that offers hope, not ridicule. Without miraculous works of others, they will be the new generation of the illegal drug trade. Without the intervention of schools, health groups, civic groups, and churches, their odds of dying or facing a lifetime of incarceration and debilitation are extremely high.

In order to be proactive, all people must pledge and work to offer affordable, successful intervention to the entire families of those addicted to drugs. No one really likes to hear this, but what is the workable alternative? Huge amounts of money and time must be given to stop the vicious cycle of abuse.

If we really have compassion for all and hopes for a better world in the future, we must not ignore this problem. The child in this element is a victim of abuse, just as much a victim as a child suffering from sexual or physical abuse. To refuse to help the child caught in a criminal element is neglect, neglect just as severe as failure to complete obligations in more attractive human endeavors. We must realize the failure to comply is arguably criminal in its consequences.

Fixing the drug problem requires money, time, and effort. Merely looking after our own children will not lead to a solution. Don't misunderstand me, watching our own is important; however, doing this and nothing else will not positively affect the problem. Many of us have done this for too long, and now we reap the deadly results. A good society stakes its value on the reactions and actions of all people for the common good, not just on limited actions for the immediate good of a few. 

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