Families Need To Talk About Drug Abuse

I am writing in regard to an article in the Oct. 18, 2018, Post-Journal.

It reports of the parents of students at Brocton elementary school questioning the state-mandated education curriculum on drug awareness. The school has partnered with CASAC, our local United way organization that focuses on prevention. CASAC, the Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse. What better way to start a prevention program to help halt this opioid epidemic in our community. Kudos to our state education system. And Mr. Delcamp’s remarks are spot-on in this article. By the way, CASAC has devoted, well-educated employees that are committed to teaching our precious children.

Fear. My bet is that the parents opposing (or even questioning) such a program for their young children are families that have not experienced yet the horrible consequence of this epidemic. I’m guessing that it hasn’t hit their family or circle of friends yet. Again, fear. I really can’t say that I blame them. How blessed are they that they haven’t had this crisis touch them yet. But you know what? Unfortunately, the chances of this crisis affecting their families will only increase with time, especially if they are hiding their heads in the sand and avoiding the prevention programs under the premise that they are protecting their children. One cannot even watch a television show or listen to the radio (including Christian radio) without seeing or hearing a commercial about the prevention programs and education that is going on in our country announcing the help that is available in our communities. Just this morning (Oct. 26), one can read the front page of our Post-Journal and read about retired State Supreme Court Justice Salvatore R. Martoche’s personal story, an interview with Greg Peterson on the loss of his daughter to an opioid overdose in 2017. Again, an addiction that was started with prescription pain killers (a must-read). It’s everywhere. My hope is that these families in Brocton will eventually understand why it is important for not only their children to learn, but for them as responsible adults as well.

Families need to talk, have conversations at the dinner table. Why we need to know that having unused prescription drugs in our home is dangerous. Saying no to drugs that are offered to them. Taking someone else’s pills is wrong as well as dangerous, and grandma’s unused medicine laying around can be fatal. Why some people can become easily addicted and others don’t? That is a huge question. The conversations are endless and priceless. I attended the event called youth to youth last year that CASAC brought into our area; a group of kids from Dover, N.H., that teach other kids through skits about what they have learned with drug and substance abuse. How the kids can help each other. It was amazing. Kids talking to kids about these real issues going on in our communities, not just in the big cities but every corner of the U.S.A. Every income level, race, religion and social corner. The kids were energetic, bright and talented. Unfortunately, not many people attended the event at the Reg Lenna. But fortunately specific local schools had this group come in and had programs for their students. Thank you to CASAC. I’m sorry that so many missed it. We have a devoted team in our own CASAC agency and it’s time that more parents take an active interest in knowing that these issues are an important part of their children’s health education curriculum. Education is power and fear is dangerous.

Cecelia Nosel is a Frewsburg resident.