Opinion

For Our Children: The War on Drugs

By Mary Bisciaio

While the politicians have cried out against endless wars, they close their eyes to the longest battle we have ever fought against an enemy. Not an enemy that harbors far away in some country most Americans can’t find on a map that only our military can see and fight, but an enemy that walks among us on the streets of our cities and in the fields of our rural areas that touches families, and kills our children. A dark enemy that doesn’t respect age or gender, rich or poor, urban or country. It infiltrates our schools, our health system, and destroys us as a nation from within, because it takes our youngest, our brightest, and our hope for the next generation.

We waged this war more than fifty years ago when the nation recognized the magnitude of the problem. We educated parents and students, created program after program to prevent rather than cure, gave it a pretty title, and watched our efforts amount to next to nothing, because the enemy was smart. The enemy made the weapons stronger, made false promises, and attacked the next generation of our children. The casualties grew.

What happened to the War on Drugs? Are there still D.A.R.E. programs in schools? Has anyone looked at the effectiveness of our efforts? Because I know there are still young people all over this country dying of drug overdoses, still finding the last high, and still destroying families attempting to find help and hope.

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I have heard very little in recent years except from the last administration. The then president warned of the cartels, of the drugs and human trafficking at our southern border. He warned of the potent drugs that have been laced with other drugs like fentanyl, but this isn’t about one president or one administration. This is about the lack of vision regardless who holds the powerful tools to fight the enemy. This is about the lack of commitment on the part of leaders in all walks of life to finally find a solution. Not a temporary band aid, but an end to the continuous, steady stream of drugs into this country.

As an educator and parent, I have seen the devastation first hand. I have cried over and with others over that loss and the pain. I have talked with overwhelmed rehab facilities and law enforcement. I have gritted my teeth at the arbitrary ONLY solution to addiction even when logic knows the answers are many.

I have learned addicts lie.

I have learned security can be breached even at the best facilities, and drugs brought in.

I have learned treatment is expensive and not always covered by insurance.

I have learned there is no coordination between health care and the courts. What one orders, may fall to the resources of over stretched families.

I have learned that drug addiction affects not just the individual, but everyone he or she comes in contact with; family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, law enforcement, the courts, everyone.

And I suspect, beyond the drug dealers, people are making a lot of money off of the drug trade and human misery.

If you know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry. If you don’t, consider yourself fortunate and blessed.

But this is not just a personal problem. This is a national atrocity, a blemish on our inability to protect our American families, and a national disgrace. If the cartels, the drug dealers want war, then by God, give them one. Track them down like the scum they are, lock them away where they can do no harm, and stop the ridiculous stream of drugs into this country once and for all. Protect our children and save our children from poor decisions. Give them the future they were supposed to have.

It amazes me how off center policy has become in this country. The recent wave of mass shootings has sparked yet another reaction for gun control. When will the politicians realize that guns don’t kill people, people kill people? You can take the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, but that won’t stop the criminals from gaining weapons illegally. Has one politician actually moved the conversation beyond the obvious? I haven’t heard it. The issue of someone committing murders, especially mass murders has its roots in something else. Mental health and drug addiction.

And hence I am back to square one. I don’t have all the answers but…

One campaign promise was health care. Before considering health care, consider comprehensive mental health care. No one should be denied service for depression and other illnesses because of inability to pay. But please, do not make this a government program that gets tied up in bureaucratic red tape and bullshit. Partner with business, make it affordable or based on ability to pay, and reach out to people who desperately need the services.

Enlist the schools again. Do we have school nurses anymore? Have we bogged down counselors with paperwork and scheduling so they don’t see the kids with the real problems?

Call in the churches. We need everyone if we’re going to mount a war. Spiritual guidance is a must. A higher power for help.

Secure the damn southern border. We can be compassionate and smart while stopping the flow of drugs. Remember the enemy is not compassionate, and our children’s lives are at stake.

I will take on any enemy, fight any fight, kick some serious ass, and lay down my own life for my children. Ask any mom if I’m wrong.

It is time to stop talking and win this war once and for all. For all those children we’ve failed, and for the ones yet to come. We can’t afford to look back or protect ourselves against the ugly realities. And most of all, we can’t afford to lose this endless war now. The toll is far too high.

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