Sometimes Just Saying No Isn’t Enough,We Need Actions and Words

As I read Sue Ellen Woodcock’s commentary on the recent showing of “The Anonymous People,” a documentary about the fight against drug addiction, I could sense her disappointment that only 50 folks were drawn to watch this movie and many of them were already in recovery. The small crowd at Revere High School does not surprise me. A few months ago it was shown in the East Boston community and the crowd was also not that great.

Woodcock also stated how ironic that down the school al the gym appeared packed with parents and students at a sporting event. I was surprised to hear that.

As retired police officer of 27 years, I have seen the effects of drug abuse how it can suck out the life of a human being. We can observe all around us those lost souls roaming our neighborhood streets like lifeless zombies. They live side by side with us but they are not us. Right? Wrong! They were us before the drugs destroyed them.

Why were the crowds the hall in the school gym? Could it be that those kids playing  sports teams aren’t doing drugs? I am sure that is what the parents watching their kids play on a basketball or hockey team hope. However, many times  kids hide from their parents and many times parents live in denial. Parents need to be fully engaged in the lives of their children off the basketball floor. Encourage our kids not to be afraid to talk with you.

The world around us can be a dangerous place to navigate. Since retiring from law enforcement, I now work as a substitute teacher down on the South Shore. Last year at the school I was working I, they had a school-wide assembly on drug addiction and brought in a speaker Chris Herron whose athletic career was crushed by drug addiction. He is now in recovery and has been on the speaker circuit taking about all the lessons he learned about drug abuse the hard way.

Many people start taking drugs to feel better but soon find just opposite. They fall into a deep hole of darkness and the more drugs they take to get the daylight, the deeper in the hole they sink. If they’re lucky, they won’t chase away family and friends. If they are lucky, they will burnout anyone who ever cared or loved them.

Those who are committed should never give up due to poor attendance. It is a long struggle to get clean and sometimes it can even feel longer trying to reach out and educate about this epidemic facing society today. You gotta keep on trying and ever lose hope. Never say never. If you stop trying to help the problem will only continue on.

Our children are too important to lose.

Sal Giarratani

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