To the Editor:
Today, drug overdoses are an epidemic. It has impacted so many of us. Personally, I have lost someone due to a drug overdose. It has a devastating impact on family and friends. I work in a mental health office, so I see that drug addiction can impact anyone. Our culture needs to shift.
Government assistance for the opioid crisis has increased in an effort to fight this epidemic.
According to a 2019 Kaiser Health News article about government funding, “Federal Grants ‘A Lifesaver’ In Opioid Fight, But States Still Struggle To Curb Meth,” the local governments are very thankful for this increased funding, but they can only use this money in regards to opioids. I think more money needs to be allocated to help those who are addicted to other substances too. We need to combat drug addictions of all kinds to prevent overdoses.
Furthermore, we need to get to the source. We need funding to prevent teenagers and adults from starting the gateway drugs. Drug addiction often involves many substances over a long period of time.
I believe that there should be a national curriculum to educate kids on the effects of drugs. Students in the fourth grade should be educated before they go to middle school. A child’s home life can play an influential role in whether he or she will experiment with drugs. Counseling through the schools should be offered for children at a young age. Children in high-risk home environments should all be assigned to a mentor outside of their home. As a community and a nation, we need to work on prevention.
Overall, we need to come together as a nation to combat this crisis. Funding should be increased for the treatment of all drug addictions, and a national program should be implemented to prevent young children from experimenting with drugs. Today’s culture is changing, but I believe it needs to change even more.