Call to Arms

Call to Arms

Finally after decades of blindly using drugs, society has realized the power of addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disease that makes a person lose self control in spite of the dire consequences of his addiction. The functional limitations of being addicted include: losing your job or limiting your employment choices, losing your driving license, your family, including your children your friends, your physical health and your mental stability. Being an addict usually squashes your educational potential and exposes you to legal charges. You give birth to crack babies who are born in pain and who suffer lifelong cognitive and emotional issues. You give birth to babies with alcohol fetal syndrome who suffer lifelong cognitive and emotional issues. The power of addiction is overwhelming and it affects all of us. Schools don’t want to buy our lessons that teach drug prevention across the curriculum because that would mean that they have students using in the their schools. And yet we all know that all schools have students who are using drugs. Many universities are not teaching their future; counselors, teachers, physicians etc. anything about drug abuse. Before I retired in 2014, I was assigned an intern who was completing his Masters in counseling from a local prominent university in Pittsburgh. As my caseload was mainly drug and alcohol clients, I asked him what he knows about drug and alcohol, he said “Nothing”. He did not have even one class! How many physicians have had any training in drug and alcohol in all their long years of getting educated? My guess is very few, because they just keep writing script after script for addictive medications without any thought as to the consequences to their patients following doctors orders. Our legislators are recommending Narcan be placed in the school so that a person who has overdosed may be brought back to life. But they failed to legislate the next step which would be mandatory treatment for the addict. I was on the state drug and alcohol work group for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. We had a grant from the Rehab Services Administration to provide drug and alcohol training for our OVR counselors. the grant was not renewed in 2016. At first I thought this is great. It means that there are no more people abusing drugs! I was wrong. There are more and more people abusing drugs and we need to do more and more, not less.

We need to teach drug prevention across all curriculum: elementary,middle and high school, college and technical school. We need to encourage our school guidance counselors to get some drug and alcohol credentials such as the C.A.A. P. ( Certified Allied Addiction Practitioner). The Rehab Services Administration needs to renew the training grant for OVR counselors. The legislators need to mandate treatment for those people who overdose and survive. Schools need to do more such as having random mandatory drug screening for all personal. Schools should be places to be educated in a safe environment. And of course, I must recommend my educational game called The Slippery Slope of Substance Abuse grades K-12, and our 5th grade algebra lesson called Meth Math and our 9th grade algebra lesson called Heroin Hell. Difficult things are difficult to talk about but that is what we must do. This is a call to arms because we all need to do more in the war on drugs! We need to give addicts hope and support. We need to educate ourselves on the consequences of substance abuse and we need to teach drug prevention starting in kindergarten and including our senior citizens. Check out the website on

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