As I write this article today, while still in the recognition of Drug Abuse Prevention Month, I am taken aback by the continuous battles our community, state, and nation are engaged in with the escalation of drug abuse.
It is sad to know that so many of our youth are becoming chemically dependent, addicted, to so many varieties of chemical substances; and many are dying each day from overdosing on illicit and pharmaceutical drugs, and by alcohol poisoning.
I have written many articles on the Opioid Epidemic sweeping our nation, which continues as a national priority to overcome. Of particular concern is the chemical substance, the drug, Fentanyl which is very dangerous.
The chemicals that make up Fentanyl are manufactured in China and sent to Mexico where they are combined and put into pill form before their illicit transportation to the United States.
This illicit drug is most dangerous on its own, in any amount, and is often combined with another drug, Heroin, to produce sedation.
The major problem is, and one that is causing many deaths, are the properties of the drug and the lack of “quality control” of the drug. Drug abuse continues to be a major problem within our society.
For those of us who have been engaged so many years in the drug abuse prevention, and treatment arenas; we have been witness to the detrimental effects that drugs have on individuals and their families.
For us who have seen so many suffer and even die from substances, the images are very difficult to overcome.
Parents and other care-givers of our youth cannot ignore the problem, but must be ever pro-active.
Our youth need continuous guidance and education concerning the use of chemical substances; which also includes alcohol; and most specifically they need to know the truths concerning drugs/alcohol, and not the myths and mis-information concerning them. That brings to mind the states, plus our Nations Capitol, whom have made the use of Cannabis legal for “recreational use.”
Those states, and the Capitol, are seeing the detrimental effects of the passing of such legislation, most specifically the drugs getting into the hands of youth, and the addiction to the drug (about one-third of those who engage in the use of Cannabis become addicted to the drug).
Our youth must be taught that the use, distribution, and sale of Cannabis is still illegal in our State of Texas, and also illegal under federal statutes. We, the citizenry of Texas, have not lost our sanity to pass such legislation which endangers so many; and most specifically our youth.
Yes, my friend’s youth must be taught about drug and alcohol use at an early age. Yet, before we teach them, parents and care-givers must become educated on the subject themselves. I encourage all to read up on the subject and get help if necessary.
Drug and alcohol use is most detrimental to the developing young brains and bodies of our youth. Education is paramount, most specifically as our youth enter into Junior High School, wherein the exposure and peer-pressure to the use of drugs and alcohol are most present.
Pamphlets, books, and other material on the subject is readily available to everyone; and crisis lines are also available for assistance; one need only to reach out. I have made my book on alcohol and youth available to all for many years; now in it’s third edition; “MORE Straight Talk: Answers to Questions Young People Ask About Alcohol.” If you would like a copy of the book, please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will be pleased to send you a copy.
I have so often been told that this book has been very helpful to parents, educators, and care-givers in not only providing valuable information on alcohol use, but on other drugs as well.
Here are some tips I have learned in my many years of working in the field of addiction prevention and treatment; tips which I know benefits us all as we impart information and guidance to our youth.
1) Always insure that prescription medication is secure from our toddlers and youth. Place a lock on your medication cabinet. Many youth die from taking someone else’s prescription medications each year.
2) Begin teaching about drug and alcohol use at an early age, commensurate with the child’s level of understanding.
3) Talk to children about their friends and “peer pressure.”
4) Teach your children about the virtuous behaviors of “being good and doing good.”
5) Insure that your children are engaged in healthy activities in school and at home; such as sports and other extracurricular activities; and this also includes nurturing their spiritual selves.
6) Talk with your child about their ambitions and “dream fulfillment,” and how the use of alcohol and other drugs will interfere with those subjects.
7) Become engaged yourselves in your children’s activities; to include attendance at PTA meetings, sporting and other events your children may be involved in, etc.
I am not one to “cry wolf,” as I am a realist, however we are living in most dangerous times…with the mass murders taking place and social unrest in our nation this has become most clear; and most specifically the abundance of illicit chemical substances crossing our borders from the south. We must put on our armor and continue the battles, our three-pronged attacks; with interdiction, prevention, and treatment efforts.
Our Attorney General, only this morning while testifying in Congress, explained the increasing battle that we are in with the drug trade, the Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Cannabis; and other drug substances flowing into our nation. It is most sad that many of these drugs will be consumed by our youth, the hope of our future, leading to further crime, addiction, and further destruction of the family.
As we have always known, it is up to each and every one of us to take a stand; to prevent youth from engaging in the use of drugs and alcohol. Parents, Care-givers, and educators of our youth need to remain involved with their children; placing their children’s lives above themselves at all times. We must all remain “on our toes.” Attitudes and behaviors can be changed my friends. Please do not take this the wrong way, but are you a part of the solution or a part of the problem?
I invite you to seriously think about that. Until Next Time, Stay Healthy My Friends!