A child must cross the bridge from childhood to adulthood, hopefully safely, over the raging torrent we call life. Early drug use is the metaphorical hole in that bridge that some make it around and some don’t. Life rings are tossed to the victims, sometimes multiple times but the lion’s share get pushed downstream. If they make it to the river bank in time, they may save their jobs, their houses or their families. If they slip further downstream, they can end up alone on the streets, homeless and friendless. The stream flows one way and ends in one place.
The opioid crisis continues to rage at pandemic levels, with the use and abuse of other substances overlooked, but just as dangerous and just as deadly. As bad as Covid as been, the death toll from overdose will surpass that of the pandemic in a few short years. There is no sign of it stopping, no vaccine in the wings and no relief for the horrendous pain that parents are going to experience. Treatment and counseling are ongoing and essential, but expense and success ratios aren’t favorable for a disease that doesn’t have a cure. Comprehensive early adolescent drug prevention programs get the smallest piece of any budget, if they get one at all, but are the most cost effective and successful strategies we can employ to reduce substance use disorder.
Children aren’t born making good choices, they need guidance, direction and a community that supports them. Many life-long decisions are made as early as elementary school, which is a daunting thought, but demonstrably true. Launching youth into a successful and happy life takes a foundation, discipline and consistency. It’s the most important thing a parent can do and a top priority for the future of our society, requiring a commitment from each of us. Every individual that makes it across that bridge makes our world more productive, happier and healthier.
SafeLaunch is dedicated to early adolescent substance abuse prevention. We know that this deadly disease, while not curable, is 100% preventable. The misery propagated by corporate malfeasance and societal dismissal can be greatly diminished. We can, as epidemiologists are fond of saying “bend the curve” of the disease of addiction. We can diminish the number of homeless on the streets. We can help alleviate prison overcrowding and improve the lives of folks who see no other way out. The results are not immediate, but think of the elementary school children who will be of age in less than 10 years, emancipated from their “childhood” designation and free to act independently. Will they be equipped with the tools to add to society, or will they constantly be looking shoreward for life rings?
Join the SafeLaunch Parent Alliance to help prevent the disease of addiction. Today’s investment has larger dividends than one can imagine.
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