Layers, upon layers, upon layers.
That’s all I could think about Thursday as I sat through the day long opioid summit in Bloomington last week.
It’s an issue. It’s a big issue. It’s beyond you and me.
As one of the speakers said, “We need all hands on deck. We are in trouble.”
The number of people with drug abuse issues continues to grow…daily.
But even more alarming than that is the growing number of children who have parents who are drug users. It’s a trickle down effect and it’s one that is getting out of control.
You may be reading this, sitting in your nice house in a nice neighborhood thinking, ‘Drug use don’t effect me.’
But guess what? It does.
Those kids who live in a house with parents who have drug problems, they go to school with your children and/or grandchildren. The things they see, they share them with your child. When they act out in class because their emotions get the best of them? Guess what? Your child’s teacher has to stop what they are doing (teaching your child) to handle the situation.
Everyone is effected in some way by drug abuse.
There were a variety of people from all different backgrounds at the event. Social workers, media, community volunteers, business owners, elected officials, etc. Everyone is brainstorming. Everyone is trying to figure out how to tackle this monstrosity of an issue.
We all know there’s a problem and it needs to be addressed. The question is how? What is the best way? Where do we begin? How can each group contribute in their own way to helping ease the drug problems?
And the thing is, what works for one, doesn’t work for everyone. These people are struggling and we need to help them. We need to let them know we care…about them, their families. They need to know we want them to succeed and we aren’t giving up on them. We need to save our community.
I came away with several ideas from all the areas I’m involved with in the community. I see ways the substance abuse council can help; I learned things we could do in the school with the students to encourage positive reinforcement and I got ideas on ways the media can help keep the issue in the forefront and make the resources we have in the community readily available and easy to find.
It’s going to take everyone, all areas of the community to get a handle on this situation and get it moving in a different direction.
If you are interested in helping, but don’t know where to start, there is a task force of people meeting to discuss ideas and trying to make a difference at the local level. Their next meeting is Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at Salem High School.
The Washington County Substance Abuse Council will meet again Thursday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. at the county government building.
If you don’t get involved, who is going to? We need to stop pointing fingers and start working together.