Maine’s own war on drugs

February 7th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Maine has a growing drug abuse problem. Heroin, methadone and OxyContin have become deeply rooted in our communities. The drugs one hears about may change, but they all are dangerous, they cause a variety of social ills, and they inflict pain and suffering on users and their families. We must address this problem because real people and real communities are at risk.

We have not acknowledged our society’s substance abuse problems. Instead, we have invested energy in finding convenient scapegoats, including individuals with chronic drug problems. We focus on the drug itself or the “user” when a new report arrives or when something “bad” happens in our backyards.

If we focus our attention on the big picture of struggling kids who seek easy meaning and simple solutions to life’s problems by abusing substances, we could push back the darkness of drug abuse and keep Maine’s problem from getting worse.

We are susceptible to the issues most states and communities face, and the number of people who use and abuse various substances in this state is alarming. Opiates are establishing a firm foothold here, and this reality can waken us to the problems and inspire us to initiate a comprehensive, systematic approach to drug abuse prevention.

Maine’s most recent drug abuse survey notes that 11 percent of students in grades six through 12 have used prescription drugs for purposes other than their intended use, and nearly 20 percent of students in grades 11 and 12 have misused prescription drugs, and Maine has the

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