To the Editor:
There’s an old saying that, “idle minds do the devil’s work.”
In the current climate of things, this couldn’t apply more to the impending drug epidemic we are currently facing in the Appalachia, and right here at home. Why are so many people resorting to drugs? The answer to the question doesn’t lie in the person, yet it lies mysteriously somewhere in the community and the people surrounding the abuser.
There will never be a grand solution that will fix everything, but there’s a bounty of things that could be done to help prevent it. The drug crisis, more specifically opioids, is taking over, and what are we to do about it? I’m presenting a few thoughts of mine that could help with prevention and recovery.
We need to start with the youth. It is the parent and community’s job to show support for the youth that could resort to drugs. If you keep yourself present to an abuser, just as all drugs do, they may rethink potentially bad decisions. I support full time addressing of drugs at the school and parental level, by this I mean that there should be seminars and open discussions about drugs and how they can change the course of your life. The community needs to offer youth programs that fight and show advocacy against drugs, but of course in a fun way, so that you keep their attention.
Parents, schools, and the local judicial system need to enforce stronger policies against gateway drugs, because more often than not, kids who start with marijuana, cigarettes, or even a vape, end up on much stronger drugs in the future.
Parents need to make sure their children are hanging out with good people who will prohibit and won t tolerate the use of drugs. Children are very perceptive and if they grow up in a home where their parents don t care, or they can do whatever they want, they will do just that so, parents should show and tell their kids the true effects of drugs, and not leave the bad stuff out.
Overall, the community, schools, and parents should come together and build a strong foundation, so that these struggling kids don’t feel the need to ever resort to these things. There are always going to be people on drugs, but why? In my opinion these people who are struggling with drugs in my community are bored. They live a life of apathy for the tribulations of life so they find relief in drugs and don ‘t think about how it affects everyone around them. For the people who would use help and take advantage, there should be more effective resources offered to them. Not sure on the specifics, but we need more jobs to offer in order to keep people busy. To create a higher emphasis on education, we need to enhance the payoff of a college degree, and steer more students into technical schools.
We should strengthen public health surveillance to help us better understand how the epidemic is still functioning. Prisons need better releases of their drug inmates back into the community to prevent relapsing. Now for the people who don’t want to better themselves, there should be harsher punishment installed in order to instill the idea in other people’s mind that they are not going to get away with drug use. There should also be heavier drug tests at working facilities. Overall, our government local, state, and federal is doing a good job at sweeping this major issue under the rug, but a poor job maintaining it.
In conclusion, There will always be a way for someone to get addicted to drugs, but if we take action and use our voices and power to reform laws and mindsets about drugs, things will begin to change.
Sincerely, a concerned high-school student with a lot to say,
Whitley County High School, Junior