Officials: Hanover has a drug problem

Full story: Evening Sun

Hanover Middle School principal Pam Smith discusses how to talk to children about substance abuse during a town hall meeting in Hanover Tuesday.

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Tracy F

United States

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#1
Jan 16, 2008
 
Along with the problem of illegal drugs we also need to look into the problem of prescription and over the counter medications. This problem is just as big. The younger kids today do not realize what they are doing to themselves.
I was young once too, I know the temptations, the wanting to fit in feeling and the stresses they are faced with, but things are not like back them. Today the drugs that are out there are "laced" with anything and everything and they can kill.
They live for the thrill, but they die leaving a family to deal with the aftermath. Even when we try all we can, we can not predict what will happen when they walk out the door. We only hope they see the family they have and what it does to them.
John M

Gettysburg, PA

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#2
Jan 16, 2008
 
You're right Tracy, kids out there are getting high off Robitussin and other medications that give you a "buzz" of some sort. Ever hear the term "Robo-trippin'"? I've seen some stores begin to require that certain over-the-counter medications be bought at the pharmacy counter and others that require photo ID for purchase at any register. It's sad, but unfortunately the "war on drugs" will never be completely won. There are plenty of things that we can do to help prevent some cases, but there will be no absolute solution. Since I was a teenager, I believed that one reason kids are turning to booze and drugs is because there isn't much else to do around here. I grew up in Gettysburg, and back in the 1990's there was virtually nothing to do in that town; not that there is much to do NOW!

One of these days, cigarettes will be grouped in with illegal or dangerous drugs. People don't realize just how dangerous cigarettes are; they're so dangerous that people die who don't even smoke (secondhand smoke)! I get so frustrated when I see kids under 18 smoking cigarettes and nobody thinks anything of it. It's illegal to sell cigarettes to minors, yet nobody stops and thinks, "how did those kids get cigarettes; who bought them?" Irresponsible, selfish parents did, that's who. The "war on drugs" should combat these people too.
John M

Gettysburg, PA

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#3
Jan 16, 2008
 
Sorry, I left out something that I should have added, to be fair. It's not just parents who buy cigarettes for their kids, but the older friends of these kids buy for them too, and they're just as guilty as anyone. They need to be more of a role model and not set their younger friends up for a dangerous habit (smoking) that's not worth the silly little relief they apparently give.
Dan

United States

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#4
Jan 16, 2008
 
When a drug dealer is caught, could we please just execute that person? Inject all the drugs they are caught with into their system & hope for the best. Few, if any of us are going to miss a drug dealer.
Here2

Philadelphia, PA

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#5
Jan 16, 2008
 
When was this meeting advertised? Never saw anything about it. I even talked to a local cop and they knew nothing about it. Why?

If there is such a problem, as Chief Whitson has admitted, why is he not doing more about it. Why is he not getting more officers? Why is he not working with the York County Drug task force?
BlazeDaily

Warsaw, IN

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#6
Jan 16, 2008
 
The "War on Drugs" is a HUGE joke. The only drug problem in Hanover is there are not enough drugs. Legalize everything, let the junkies do drugs till they die and the problem will soon fix itself.

Oh yeah...leave the peaceful potheads alone.
Concerned

Hershey, PA

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#7
Jan 16, 2008
 
"a chance to hear from a handful of local panelists who deal with the problem of drug and alcohol addiction from educational, legal and treatment perspectives."

educational: any kid over 7 years old knows drugs are dangerous

legal: any kid over 7 years old knows drugs are illegal

treatment: leave that for the doctors

What about spiritual matters?
No one is exempt from these problems, not even Christians but I can guarantee that statistically speaking, the majority of kids with drug problems most likely were not raised in a Bible-believing home attending church regulary.
Prove me wrong.
And yet we dare not have God or prayer mentioned in our government schools.
Go ahead and keep God out of your homes and schools. And you will continue to see these types of problems grow worse.
I guarantee it.
Chief RS Whitson

Horsham, PA

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#8
Jan 16, 2008
 
Here2 wrote:
When was this meeting advertised? Never saw anything about it. I even talked to a local cop and they knew nothing about it. Why?
If there is such a problem, as Chief Whitson has admitted, why is he not doing more about it. Why is he not getting more officers? Why is he not working with the York County Drug task force?
All area police departments work together and with the York County Drug Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police. The point of this meeting I took was to bring the problem of substance abuse to the forefront and to note that the problem of substance abuse is a community problem that will take all of our community resourses to solve. Its easy to point to the criminal justice system and find fault, but we have to remember that law enforcement, the courts, prisons, and parole departments are not total solutions to this enormous problem. The solution starts at home with family and expands from there. We as a society can punish these behaviors, but punishment alone is not an answer to the problem. Decades of lock them up and throw away the key did not solve the problem and it will not void our society of substance abuse. We can hire more officers, pay more overtime, build more prisons, and dish out all the punishments we can think of but we as a society must realize that it is not the only option. This is a plague that crosses all demographic boundaries and ignoring it, blaming it on someone else, or simply choosing to say nothing is not a solution. Though lower class addicts appear to be the media representation for most of us, substance abuse's web reaches out much further than the crack addict on television or the front page news. It hurts individuals, families, neighbors, friends, our economy, and many other facets of our society. The problem is not just among teens or young people, it spreads over all generations and includes both illegal and prescribed drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The next meeting is January 24 as noted in the article. Do something for our community; go-listen-learn-and do something positive!
mel

New Oxford, PA

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#9
Jan 16, 2008
 
We are not looking at the real problem here. The drugs are not the problem, they are a symptom of the problem. The problem is that kids are looking for an escape. I agree, growing up in a two parent, Bible believing home is the answer for a lot of our society's problems. Kids today are feeling rejected and abandoned by divorce, and absent parents. It is a real shame, but the break down of the family will someday end up causing the demise of this once great Christian nation.
Christina

Galena, OH

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#10
Jan 16, 2008
 
Well all I have to say is that I don't think holy rollin is a definate answer either. "I believe" but I can truly say that I have only been to a church for my own marriage or someone else's and probably less than 6 times in my entire life. I've never been baptized and my parent's divorced when I was 2 years old. I've NEVER once touched drugs at all. So coming from a picture perfect family doesn't dictate the outcome of the person and the person's habits. I think it has a lot to do with parent involvement and how you are raised...and you can provide a positive environment for your child-even in a broken home.
End the War

United States

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#11
Jan 16, 2008
 
REGULATE, CONTROL, LEGALIZE..END OF PROBLEM.
Interesting

Mount Vernon, OH

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#12
Jan 16, 2008
 
I don't think holy rollin was mentioned prior to Christina. I came from a broken home. My Mom was a bible believing woman and instilled in me deep Christian beliefs. I will agree totally with Mel and Concerned on the need for God in our lives because in the end that is what fills all voids!!! And believe me I've had plenty of them. In the end it comes down to choices. WE set our destiny by the choices we make!! The whole right from wrong! Without out God, you have no idea what you are missing!!!! Know God, Know peace, no God, no Peace!
Betsy

Middletown, PA

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#13
Jan 16, 2008
 
Bravo! Someone in this town is finally saying it. This town has a drug problem. Too bad it's about 10 years too late. My family has been affected by it that long and try as I may, I couldn't get anyone to listen. What is REALLY sad is how drug addicts are handled. Incarcerated and fined and then dumped onto the street with little or no assistance to try to live a drug free life. Until everyone acknowledges that drug addiction is a siskness just like alchoholism or diabetes or COPD, we will continueto lose the battle. Taxpayers foot the bill for incarceration. Wouldn't it be a better idea to rehab and train them to do something? Our money goes for every other kind of cause, many of them a waste. The only way to make drugs go away is to take away the customers and the only way to take away the customers is to empower them to be a part of society again.
Joe

Woodbury, NJ

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#14
Jan 16, 2008
 
Chief RS Whitson wrote:
<quoted text>
All area police departments work together and with the York County Drug Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police. The point of this meeting I took was to bring the problem of substance abuse to the forefront and to note that the problem of substance abuse is a community problem that will take all of our community resourses to solve. Its easy to point to the criminal justice system and find fault, but we have to remember that law enforcement, the courts, prisons, and parole departments are not total solutions to this enormous problem. The solution starts at home with family and expands from there. We as a society can punish these behaviors, but punishment alone is not an answer to the problem. Decades of lock them up and throw away the key did not solve the problem and it will not void our society of substance abuse. We can hire more officers, pay more overtime, build more prisons, and dish out all the punishments we can think of but we as a society must realize that it is not the only option. This is a plague that crosses all demographic boundaries and ignoring it, blaming it on someone else, or simply choosing to say nothing is not a solution. Though lower class addicts appear to be the media representation for most of us, substance abuse's web reaches out much further than the crack addict on television or the front page news. It hurts individuals, families, neighbors, friends, our economy, and many other facets of our society. The problem is not just among teens or young people, it spreads over all generations and includes both illegal and prescribed drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The next meeting is January 24 as noted in the article. Do something for our community; go-listen-learn-and do something positive!
Thank you, Randy. Well said.
I Wonder

Middletown, PA

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#15
Jan 16, 2008
 
Why doesn't Chief Whitson LIVE in Hanover? Too many drug addicts perhaps...?
JOHN

Mansfield, OH

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#16
Jan 16, 2008
 
I am sorry that I missed the meeting; I want to thank the folks who put it on. I have someone close to me that also has had their ups and downs with drugs and it has affected my trust, our family and our families health. Until it hit home, I used to say stop wasting money on the addicts and junkies, but that was wrong these folks need help and for the ones who will go and get the help or at least seek it out they should not be turned away because they cannot afford rehab, or their families cannot afford it. Jail is not the answer, Love, and a program that deals with the bigger picture particularly in teens and young adults. A program that focuses on, the medical, mental, socialization skills, goal setting and job skills is part of the answer. Area Church programs are good, but too many of the churches link religion with the cure, in some it might be true in others it may turn them away, Don’t get me wrong churches are doing a wonderful job in helping the community, but there needs to be other options as well.
I know one thing that will stop it. Take the profit out of the drug sales, and I would make all of Hanover and the surrounding townships a drug free zone. Post signs, have neighborhood watches, and a 1 strike and your out to dealers. Let’s make it so uncomfortable and un profitable for the dealers to deal in our area that they say Hanover ? I don’t sell to anyone who lives in Hanover; the heat is too strong why take the chance ? I will sell somewhere and to someone who lives outside of Hanover, let the dealers know that if you sell drugs to a Hanover student or teen we will come after you even if our teen gos to York or Baltimore, we will work with and find you bring you back and prosecute you Let’s start a campaign “Dealing or doing drugs in Hanover it’s just not worth it” Lets register and start a web site of convicted drug dealers, like they d0 with sex offenders. If you have been convicted of dealing drugs, you cannot rent, live or buy a home in Hanover or the surrounding townships.
Well I have given some ideas here.
Let me take a moment to thank Cathy for starting the Naranon in our area, folks need support and a shoulder to trust and talk to.
J
Tammy

Harrisburg, PA

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#17
Jan 17, 2008
 
I agree with all of this but what needs to be done is make it a little easier on the person who has gotten into trouble with drugs and has cleaned up there act. My son got into trouble 7 years ago. He cleaned up his act. He has not been in trouble since but yet he still can not get a good job that pays a decent wage. When he apply's for a job in hanover and they find out what happened they say no way. No one will hire a person with a record.

I understand that you have to take a stand but if someone proves that they want to change and stays clean then that should be looked at. We joking call the steps to normal life. a job, bank account, a car, your own place. I am very proud off my son for leaving this life behind he works really hard at living a better life. He is even trying to help some of his old friends go the right way.

I understand that employers don't what drugs in there business but they need to look at what the person has done. Have they been in trouble since the charge did they go into a treatment program. If they went into treatment and haven't been in trouble since then give them a chance. Let them see that you can live a good live and make a decent wage. Everyone drug test these days. Say to the person ok I see you have had a problem in the past but we are willing to give you a chance but this is what is going to happen you will be tested more often then the other person for a time period and as long as you stay clean no problem.

The answer does lie in showing these people that you can have a good life. My son does say it is a lot better living know that he doesn't have to watch his back all the time.
Skeptic Al

Mount Vernon, OH

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#19
Jan 17, 2008
 
The message on drugs my mother gave me long ago when I was a teenager was: "Remember son, that person offering drugs to you is not just a person - that's the devil himself looking at you." It always stuck with me.
lost faith

Annapolis, MD

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#21
Jan 17, 2008
 
i think most people are missing the starting point to stop or defeat drug use. it is in the home from parents and siblings this needs to be the starting point to allow are children to run around with no supervision at the early stages and no parental interaction with your children add to this problem, maybe its time to start holding the parents of the juveniles responsible detain both for a day or two if the child is caught. other countrys have worse penalties maybe a public display of the offenders for the public to see back to the old rack system the police can try but the already over worked officers have it tough enough its now time for the public to call and report such activity instead of over lokking it.
Shiryl

United States

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#22
Jan 17, 2008
 
Good afternoon, my name is Shiryl Mathai and I, along with my staff, helped put together this town hall meeting to talk about the issue of substance abuse in the Hanover area. I am pleased to see that there is concern over this issue. Our goals at the town hall meeting were two fold:

1) To inform residents about the legal, educational, clinical, and support resources available in the Hanover Area for issues of substance abuse and addiction. AND
2) To provide a forum where residents can share their issues and concerns about this topic.

As Chief Whitson mentioned, issues such as substance abuse require complex community solutions to solve them. There is really not one agency that can tackle this issue. Rather the solution requires a collective effort from local organiztions, government officials and the community members they serve. Our town hall meeting gave us an opportunity to put this underground issue on the table and I am thankful that each of our panelists gave a different perspective of the problem and their viewpoints on avenues for a solution.

If you still have interest in learning more about this community heatlh issue, we will be having a educational session entitled Substance Abuse 101 on January 24, 2008 from 6:00-7:00 pm at the Wellness Center on 400 York Street. You can register by contacting our registration line posted in the article. During this session, we will talk about the latest trends and lingo to keep you informed and discuss how to improve parent/child relationships which many of you touched upon.

I would like to lastly add that the programming we conduct are influenced in large part by community data that we collect through local assessments and community feedback through our different programming opportunities. Like Cathy, if you do have a topic that you would like to see addressed, come to our next meeting and provide your input. We will then use this information to provide as much support as possible.

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