Editor, The News:
Re: Overdoses on rise in Maple Ridge (The News, April 20).
Provincial government declares first ever public health emergency regarding sharp rise in opioid drug overdoses.
Is anyone paying attention to this?
Parents, are you out there?
These drugs are killing our kids and, if not dead, they are having their brains rewired.
These drugs are not a joke and they are everywhere.
What do you think is contributing to all the shootings, crime and homelessness in the Lower Mainland?
The Strong Kids Team, on behalf of the Maple Ridge Resiliency Initiative, hosted an information night at the ACT in March to try and get some information out to parents, caregivers and youth about the availability of drugs, the different types of drugs, tips on recognizing substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
The ACT should have been filled, but was not – attendance peaked at about 120. My fellow members on the Strong Kids Team are not deterred by the attendance and are encouraged that it was a good introduction for our first event.
I agree, but am disappointed and frustrated.
I’m at a loss on how to reach people.
As a member of the board of education, we have the same issues with low attendance when we hold public meetings and input sessions.
Both of these examples involve our kids, who are supposed to be the future and, yet, the interest is minimal.
Is it the case of, ‘my child would never do or try drugs so I don’t have to worry,’ or, ‘my kids are still little and it’s not an issue for me?’
If that is the case, I hope you are right.
I hope your kids, youth or emerging adults in your life are never touched by the demon of drug use.
With the amount of drugs in circulation and rising instances of use, I can comfortably declare that if our youth are not getting high, they know someone who is.
They may have been offered drugs at some point and, hopefully, have refused.
Would you know if they hadn’t refused and are using drugs?
Would you know if your child is suffering from some anxiety or depression or a myriad of other mental health issues and has decided to self-medicate?
Today, April 27, at 6 p.m. at Thomas Haney secondary, Alouette Addictions is hosting yet another forum about Kids and Drugs. These two-hour forums inform about current drug trends, tips on preparing your child for the pressures of high school, perspectives from teens and professionals on drug and alcohol use and much more.
I have attended many of these forums and am always struck by the low attendance.
Despite that, the agency keeps hosting and reaching out just like the Strong Kids Team will do.
So what is your excuse for not educating yourself about what is happening around you or possibly right under your nose?
– Susan Carr is a Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District trustee who is working with the Maple Ridge Resilience Initiative as a leader with the Strong Kids team. Her group’s mandate is “to ensure that children and youth in our community have the best environment to grow up and thrive in.”