Yesterday, the people in Scioto County voted "no" to providing drug abuse prevention in our schools. This is not to say that the schools in the county do not already provide some excellent prevention education -- they do. However, the levy for prevention that failed yesterday would have placed a much-needed, research-based, up-to-date, comprehensive program in every Scioto County school.
Almost everyone I spoke to before the election (and, I spoke to hundreds) supported the need for the levy and better prevention curriculum. The people SAID this, but the majority VOTED against the proposal. Herein lies a serious problem in our community. This is what I mean:
Paying positive lip service to obvious needs
is both easy and marginally beneficial.
Yet, acting upon concerns of the conscience
by offering sweat and dollars requires much more dedication.
I understand the hard financial times in which we live. I especially realize the plight of those who live in an area where poverty and joblessness is rampant like Appalachian Scioto County. I can understand why voters rejected a levy that would take money away from their meager pocketbooks. BUT, nothing is more important to solving a deadly problem than EDUCATION, and nothing will pay dividends like teaching our children important, thoughtful strategies to help them live fruitful lives free of the demons of drug abuse.
The evil, greedy participants in the drug culture won an important victory yesterday. Without developing a platform, putting an issue on the ballot, raising public awareness, or begging for votes, they insured their future success by merely letting apathy run its course. They knew they could reap great benefits by simply doing nothing and relying upon others to vote "down" a money issue.
Make no mistake, as the "bad guys" read the election returns,
they relish the results because
when the community says "no" to prevention,
the criminals understand their coffers will grow
and their "work" will remain relatively easy.
And, do you believe the criminals of the drug business will regret, for one an instant, the destruction and death that will occur in the wake of under-educating our children about the dangers of drugs? These despicable people look at the election results and smile because they could care less about other people's lives and the unimaginable misery caused by drugs than they do about their own profits.
One death of one child is more costly than paying for the prevention education of all. And, the sad fact is that we ALL know this. Not one of us in Scioto HAS NOT BEEN TOUCHED by tragic events caused by drug abuse. But somehow, we remain willing to give up the lifeblood of our area while refusing to give up the money and resources needed to educate youth and better the future.
The Scioto County Rx Drug Task Force Action Team suffered a severe defeat yesterday. Chalk one up for the bad doctors, the bad pharmacies, the bad dealers, the abusers, the purveyors of dangerous misinformation, and the apathetic. God bless the dependent. I so looked forward to a new generation better equipped to fight drug abuse. Now, we must find other methods of teaching these important strategies to our young people.
Pharmageddon must be defeated with the resources of all citizens. We cannot afford to let the tone of this election control our future efforts. Those who really care must stand together and rededicate ourselves to the common good of Scioto County residents.
Picture the child you love weaving tentatively
through the complicated maze of substance abuse
while desperately trying to avoid all the pitfalls
so prevalent in our county.
Do we have children at risk?
Do they need a better education?
Do we have an obligation to provide them with the best tools to avoid drug abuse?
The answers are obvious.
Part of the solution lies in the minds and ACTIONS of every individual.