Pubdate: Tue, 10 Apr 2001
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2001 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Roy Martin
Note: Roy Martin of Glenburn is a member of the Committee Against Heroin.


In spite of seeming the alarmist, I must tell you that we are in 
crisis. The use of drugs and dangerous pharmaceuticals in the local 
area, especially in the schools, is increasingly alarming. Such usage 
is said to be doubling every year.

My recent association with those who have the statistics and personal 
experience, such as former U.S. Attorney Jay McCloskey, head of the 
local Drug Enforcement Agency, Lt. Peter Arno, and Bangor Police 
Chief Don Winslow, leaves no doubt of the emergency nature of our 
local situation. Further verification can be had by asking any 
doctor, pharmacist or policeman.

Such arguments and reinforcing statistics presented on March 13 to 
the committee acting on LD 0997, which authorizes 10 more drug agents 
in this area, resulted in a unanimous ought to pass resolution in 
spite of present budget difficulties and the realization that only 
emergency measures should be funded for a while.

Frighteningly, our children are at risk even in the public schools 
that have always seemed safe and secure. When your child goes to 
school, though, he or she frequently rubs elbows with, and sometimes 
sits next to, the inexorable drug pusher. And the likelihood of such 
encounters is increasingly alarming.

Think. If your loving child or grandchild is having a bad hair day, 
or is unhappy that the world isn't perfect and he or she just happens 
to be next to 'a friend' who just happens to have 'something to make 
him or her feel better,' that loving child is in great danger. Just a 
few trials of OxyContin, heroin or a host of similarly dreadful 
concoctions are almost guaranteed, in just a short time, to make one 
an addict for life. We who are paying attention have experienced 
stories that would tear at your heart.

Do you think that your influence and guidance, or that of the 
teachers, can protect your child? Wrong. The greatest influence that 
your child experiences is peer pressure and that pressure is 
increasingly to try drugs.

Do you think the police can protect your child from the drug peddler? 
Wrong. There are only five funded drug agents serving all of 
Penobscot, Hancock, Piscataquis and Somerset counties. Realize that 
it takes five people to man one 24-hour tollbooth on the turnpike. It 
takes five soldiers to man one 24-hour sentry post. Our five drug 
agents, even with heroic efforts, are hopelessly pressured.

What can you do?

Realize that the situation is frightening.

Try your darndest to convince your child to never take anything 
consumable from anyone other than family members.

Learn more: what to look for, what to do.

Copy this commentary and send it to your friends.

Call and write to your representative and senator, and demand that 
they vote for LD 0997 when it comes up for vote, which could be soon

LD 0997 provides additional protection your child needs. We need more 
agents, desperately. Demand them.

We cannot stop the drug trade, it's too lucrative, but an aroused 
citizenry can do wonders. We angry parents and grandparents can help 
make our area at least unproductive for the drug pusher. This request 
is not for nameless, faceless strangers, it is to help protect your 
kids and mine.
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MAP posted-by: Josh Sutcliffe