Up until about 15 years ago, we all understood that it took a village to raise a child. Parents instilled good morals and values; doctors and dentists helped to maintain good health; police officers enforced laws to keep our streets safe; lawmakers put age limits on things like alcohol that were dangerous for kids; and senior citizens provided that extra layer of protection to children in neighbourhoods.
With everyone working together, children were given a strong foundation for life.
Unfortunately, the world has changed.
Doctors and dentists are now prescribing very dangerous prescription opiates, which are ending up in the hands of our youth.
Police officers are being arrested for being involved with drugs.
Lawmakers are failing to enact laws to keep children safe from opiates. As a result, these dangerous pills have infiltrated our communities, playgrounds, schools, and homes. A young person’s drug of choice is whatever is available. In the past 15 years, that has been opiates. It is no coincidence that the rate of addiction skyrocketed in the same ten year period that prescriptions for Oxy (the one that started it all) increased by 850%. And, that was just Oxy!! Many more dangerous prescription drugs came on the market when pharmaceutical companies saw dollar signs.
This “free for all” continues while more youth become addicted and some die. Even though they know this, the people who can actually do something about it are doing very little. Instead, even more dangerous drugs are being approved by the FDA and Health Canada (i.e. Zohydro, which is expected to kill people immediately upon its release). Pharmaceutical companies will laugh all the way to the bank while more and more families will make their way to funeral homes.
And then there are grandparents! Some Grandmas and Grandpas are selling their prescriptions to subsidize their incomes. They have become drug dealers in our communities. We have to do a better job of taking care of our senior citizens. They should not be so destitute that they have to sell their medications in order to put food on the table. Of course, some also do it out of greed.
Parents can’t be with their children 24/7. Even though we instill good morals and values, there are too many dangerous things out there that are beyond our control. Things that our own parents didn’t have to deal with. For one thing, children have NEVER had such easy access to drugs, and highly addictive ones at that!
Children are, by nature, curious risk-takers, which is why we put age limits on such things as driving, alcohol, and cigarettes. We, as a society, try to protect kids from themselves with these laws. We have always understood that parents can only do so much. Where is the protection against opiates (the most dangerous product of all)? We have an OPIATE epidemic because profits have become more important than people. We have also done a very poor job of treating those who are sick with addiction.
I can’t make my community safe on my own and neither can other parents. We have to get back to the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. This “free for all” with prescription drugs has gone on long enough. Individuals, families and communities have been destroyed because of greed. It has to stop. We have to demand that more be done to fix the problem.
Basically, we need to start caring about each other again.