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Letter: Avoid The ‘Heroin Highway’ Detour

A recent article by Senator Jack Martins regarding “The Heroin Highway” touched upon some very important concerns for every parent in our community. And while most of our children do not find themselves on this “highway,” the statistics and trends for drug use and abuse are alarming. And sadly, in spite of our best efforts, they are not decreasing.

Drug use is not a problem we can arrest our way out of. It is not a problem that emerges overnight because of “bad parenting” as some have proclaimed. It is not a problem that emerges because of one choice in one moment, although we do know that for some, lives can be lost that quickly. More often than not, drug use begins because of so many things that have gone wrong or not enough things going right. It often begins not with the use of drugs but with the breakdown of those things we know to be vital for children growing up in today’s times.

While we do know that conversations about using drugs are so very important, we also know that honesty, integrity, positive role modeling, open communication and understanding pain is at the core of things. This is an issue that belongs to all of us as it is a problem that potentially can affect us all.

We do have the tools to make a difference and we have the resources to prevent tragedy.  To do this, however, we must begin teaching our children from the moment they open their eyes and take their place in our world. They must grow up to know that they are special and that they are loved, because at the core of this debate is the reality that for so many of our neighbors, young and old, their pain feels intolerable and insurmountable. Fortunately, our community does have available resources. If you or someone you know or love needs information, support or treatment or if you just don’t know where to turn, please call us. You can learn about our comprehensive services by visiting our web site at www.yesccc.org. The trained professionals at YES Community Counseling Center can help. We can be reached at 516-799-3203.            

Jamie Bogenshutz

Executive Director, YES Community Counseling Center