Illegal drugs and what you can do | News, Sports, Jobs

Illegal drugs fascinate me.

Not in a way that makes me want to try them. The thought of trying them scares me.

What interests me is the huge negative social impact of drugs and how they take hold of their victims so strongly, leading them to make decisions that they would never make without the influence of drugs. I’m interested in how drug use leads to terrible destruction in the user’s life. I think it’s because I want to help people have a better life and addiction is one of the hardest things to help a person.

Podcasts, articles, books (“Dopesick” is one of my favorites), shows, movies, documentaries (I think I’ve seen every episode of “Intervention”), and whatever I can find I consume.

Although drugs fascinate me, the impact they have on our society terrifies me.

If I think about it too long or read too many articles, especially if they’re close to home, I develop a bit of anxiety and need to change direction. It wasn’t long before I was back to learning and consuming more information on the subject, though.

As a problem solver by nature, the questions that come to my mind time and time again are: how do I solve this growing problem and what can I do to help?

Solving the problem is a tall order. It is multi-faceted and will require the cooperation and coordination of many. As with all problems of this magnitude, it will take a considerable amount of resources to bring the problem under control.

Risk factors for drug use, as listed by the Prevention Coalition, include: academic failure or lack of academic motivation, alienation from peers or family, early aggressive behavior, antisocial behavior, early first drug use, availability of drugs in the community, inappropriate parenting, long working hours, loss of control or lack of internal locus of control, low socioeconomic status, drug use by parents or siblings, parental divorce or other family life transition, and sensation-seeking behavior.

When I read through the list and looked for things I could influence, I saw that many of them were related to inclusion, relationships, and personal relationships.

When I watch “Intervention” episodes, many users have a history of being bullied or excluded at school, abandoned by family as children (usually due to divorce or death), or have suffered another type of trauma such as sexual, emotional, or physical abuse.

These are also related to inclusion, relationships and personal relationships.

Society is becoming less and less connected to each other. Even with improved ways to connect to technology, it seems to have the opposite effect and disconnect us. Mental health issues are on the rise. Feelings of disconnection increase, as do feelings of loneliness. Anxiety levels are on the rise.

It is no wonder that drug use and related problems, such as violence and crime, are on the rise.

What can we do?

Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it?

We can blame the pharmaceutical companies. Blame social media. Blaming bad parenting. We can blame whatever we want, but blame solves nothing.

We can look away, hope the drugs don’t get to us, and hope someone else tackles the problem. But it’s going to take us all – and drugs are already touching your life, even if no one you know personally uses them.

Instead, we should do our best to support human relationships and connections. Make the phone call. Meet in person. Give the hug. Compliment the stranger. Volunteer for a non-profit organization. Invite your neighbors. Staying in touch.

It may only be a small part of the solution, but it is a necessary part that you can help provide.

Jackie Krawczak is President of Jackie Krawczak LLC. His column airs every three weeks on Thursdays. Follow Jackie on Twitter @jkrawczak.

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