Portage community: 'We need help' wit...

Portage community: 'We need help' with overdose problem

There are 31 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Jul 28, 2008, titled Portage community: 'We need help' with overdose problem. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

This community is fed up after several teenage overdose deaths in recent years. So a panel of city, school and community health leaders came together Monday night and put pen to paper to tackle the problem of ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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Dave Bousfield

Fruitport, MI

#1 Jul 28, 2008
Thank you Mark Thompson. Your report tonight was what we hoped for.
jtphantom

Bangor, MI

#2 Jul 29, 2008
I have an idea how about the parents actually pay attention to what their own children are doing?
Mike

Castle Rock, CO

#3 Jul 29, 2008
"There's nothing to do," said Jon Castillo, a student in the community.

There's nothing to do? There is plenty to do but today's kids need to be intertained. Get part time jobs and if they can't find one the parents should give them work to do at home and MAKE sure it gets done. There is also plenty of good volunteers needed for those that REALLY want something to do.
Fed up

East Lansing, MI

#4 Jul 29, 2008
Why don't you start parenting and becoming responsible for your own kids instead of relying on the "village" to raise them.....
lost in translation

Denver, CO

#5 Jul 29, 2008
Mike wrote:
"There's nothing to do," said Jon Castillo, a student in the community.
There's nothing to do? There is plenty to do but today's kids need to be intertained. Get part time jobs and if they can't find one the parents should give them work to do at home and MAKE sure it gets done. There is also plenty of good volunteers needed for those that REALLY want something to do.
I think you nailed alot of it right there. Growing up in the 70's and the 80's there were some of the same drugs available to us then. You are right. Alot of kids today need instant gratification. Get the Ipods out their ears, the cell phones out of their hands and play a little less guitar hero and find something a bit more creative to do. They would probably all shrivel up and die without them.
Toby

Lake City, FL

#6 Jul 29, 2008
Waahhh. There were probably 10x more deaths from traffic accidents in the same time frame. You pay your money and you take your chances.

Wild Rose 01

Since: Feb 08

United States

#7 Jul 29, 2008
I think most of it is the parents fault this time. Plus what teen wants any parent hanging around with them today? " Geez wally! your doing something with mom today? that is sooo cool!. Most of the teens I know dont want that..lol. Plus they are bored....BOOHOO! Just like mike said..."get a part time job". My stepson who is 18 has 2 jobs plus a social life & girlfriend! Kinda sounds like they already had some programs out there when they mentioned that they were "highlighted". Here in holland we have a big drug problem too, but I guess nobody has od yet! Im sorry, Iam saddened by all this & I wish all of you the best of luck. I just think that this could of been straightened out a long time ago before it got this bad if only some parents could get their heads out of the sand.
maureenlee

Kalamazoo, MI

#8 Jul 29, 2008
I grew up in Portage--grad from Portage Northern. Raised kids in Portage--they grad from Portage Central. This is so typical of the richie rich mentality. Sickens me. One thing I have noticed. All my kids have kids. Not one live in the Portage school district. Evidently, my grandkids will grad from other schools. The Portage school experience left alot to be desired. Really, even I didn't care for the attitude there. Most of my friends went to other schools

“Be your own hero.”

Since: Jul 08

Location hidden

#9 Jul 29, 2008
I find it interesting that this group of parents, educators, and community members is trying to do something positive, and some of you still criticize! For those of you saying it's the parents' fault, well look, the parents are getting involved. You have a bunch of parents who are taking ownership of this problem, and somehow you're still critical.

Portage group, I salute you for taking this on. Now move from the talk and on to the action.

I'll give you my 2 cents:

Parents, don't try to be your child's friend. Don't attempt to be cool. Be nosy, be involved, be there. Check in on them, check up on them. And every chance you get, give them the message about drugs. If you hear them talking about what another kid did, call those parents. You know you'd want the call if somebody else heard your kid was doing drugs. Your teenagers may hate you, but when their brains finish developing, they'll realize you did it out of love. You may be annoying, but you'll get to visit your child's home someday rather than their gravesite.

Educators, don't be afraid to lay it on the line with the students. Sometimes one teacher looking at a kid and saying, "Did I just hear you say somebody did (insert bad choice here)? Wow, that's pretty stupid." Teachers overhear stuff all the time. Have the guts to jump in and make the comment. High school teachers know that a lot of the students try to tune Mom and Dad out, but sometimes you can still get through.
Ionia

Burnsville, MN

#10 Jul 29, 2008
Punishment for children now days is a drop in the bucket. I think parents are not punishing there children like we were punished in earlier years. Parenting has gone down the drain too. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. These children are most likely getting the drugs from an adult, an adult parent too. I know parents who buy for there children to smoke, drink or whatever. So I think we need to look into the childs parents background and see what has been going on in the home.

Since: Jul 08

Kalamazoo, MI

#11 Jul 29, 2008
Bored? Give me a break! The Instant gratification of the younger generation is almost out of control. Get a job, get some responsibility, get a clue on life. Younger kids can mow lawns or babysit if they can't get a "real job". Learn that in the real world you have to work to get the goodies in life. There isn't a fairy godparent to give you the newest video game or other electronic gadget.....sometimes you have to earn them.

Be creative with your own mind. Help out with something. Donate your time. Go to a soup kitchen or help with a VBS somewhere (yeah I know they may need to have a background check, but it's all part of the process). It may not seem cool, but it the long run it can be a great eye opening experience and it looks good later in life when they have to apply to college or get a job.

And parents....be parents first, not just your child's friend. I get the whole "I want them to be able to talk to me" thing. There is something to be said for having an open relationship with your kids, but back that up with making sure they do the right thing. If they have friends doing wrong things, they either need to do something about it or make sure you are aware and can do something about it. Be nosey and go thru their room once in awhile. If they have nothing to hid pat yourself on the back. If you find anything questionable make them face the music.

If there is nothing for them to do...I'm sure the parents can find SOMETHING!
Charlie Brown

Belleville, MI

#12 Jul 29, 2008
i have to agree.
Take a little interest in YOUR kids, and stop trying to make it someone elses responsability.

half of these cases the parents didnt even know where their kids are at 18-20 hours a day. but when their little joymaker OD's all they can say is "i had no idea!" "they were such good kids!"
live with your head in the sand, and wonder why you never see anything comming.
good grief.
Reece

Kalamazoo, MI

#13 Jul 29, 2008
HELP ME RAISE MY KIDS!!! Same ol' same ol'

Keep them busy, know what they are doing and pray for strength.

Then if they do drugs, you probably did all you could do.
gggg

Canton, MI

#14 Jul 29, 2008
I'm known as the stricked parent to my daughters friends they love it. I always know where she is at I check up on her. I go through her room. Guess what she don't care because it's out of love. She has to be home by 10pm and I always know who she is with. There are certain friends she is not aloud over at there house, they can come over to our house with a watchful I. I talk to her all the time about sex and drugs. She also dresses appropriately no slutty outfits. If she goes to the movies I tell her it is just down the road and I will check on her to see if she going to the movie me and her dad agreed to let her see. If she has friends over to stay the night I sleep light with door open so I'll know if they try to sneak out.
So come on parents wake up don't ignore your kids discipline is love and so is keeping a watchful eye out for them.
pjducthville

United States

#15 Jul 29, 2008
lost in translation wrote:
<quoted text>I think you nailed alot of it right there. Growing up in the 70's and the 80's there were some of the same drugs available to us then. You are right. Alot of kids today need instant gratification. Get the Ipods out their ears, the cell phones out of their hands and play a little less guitar hero and find something a bit more creative to do. They would probably all shrivel up and die without them.
Amen! Baseball always worked for me. Jon Castillo's comment is another shining example of the lazy youth of today. Can't find anything to do Jon? Call me, I've got plenty of real WORK for you to do.
Somebody Else

Battle Creek, MI

#16 Jul 29, 2008
Interesting how NIMBY seems to be the prevailing attitude. When was the last time as a parent you told your child you loved them? When was the last time you actually sat down (not walking past) and asked them how things were going and what they did today?

While it may be a community problem, it starts in YOUR backyard!
pjducthville

United States

#17 Jul 29, 2008
gggg wrote:
I'm known as the stricked parent to my daughters friends they love it. I always know where she is at I check up on her. I go through her room. Guess what she don't care because it's out of love. She has to be home by 10pm and I always know who she is with. There are certain friends she is not aloud over at there house, they can come over to our house with a watchful I. I talk to her all the time about sex and drugs. She also dresses appropriately no slutty outfits. If she goes to the movies I tell her it is just down the road and I will check on her to see if she going to the movie me and her dad agreed to let her see. If she has friends over to stay the night I sleep light with door open so I'll know if they try to sneak out.
So come on parents wake up don't ignore your kids discipline is love and so is keeping a watchful eye out for them.
Great post....and please spare the "You're the Gestapo" posts.
lost in translantion

United States

#18 Jul 29, 2008
As a parent of one of these kids I find your attitudes and comments insulting, no wonder these kids won't ask for help. It's pretty easy to point fingers at the parents, that eliminates all responsibility of the community. There are no rehab centers around for these kids, and the few that are you can't get into if you have insurance, most insurances don't cover much. What people don't seem to understand is this is a huge problem in our area. These kids that are OD-ing aren't unsupervised, unloved, or spoiled kids. Many are athletes, honor-students, and come from good homes and families. The drugs today arent' like the drugs in the"old days" sure we had access to Pot and alcohol, these are hard core drugs we didn't have exposure to. Wake up people, these kids are in serious trouble, the drugs they are taking are mainly prescription drugs that we never dreamed of having access to, they are taking vicodins, then oxycodon and graduating to the much cheaper and most deadly heroin, because its CHEAP. The have no clue that in a mattter of three uses they will be addicts, and that it WILL ruin them. The bottom line is addicts end up in one of three places, jail, institutions or dead. I'm a Mom, you know what-call me a bad mother, call me uncaring, useless-call me what you like---just as long as you helps these kids so one more doen't have to die.
Barb

Golden, CO

#19 Jul 29, 2008
A couple of comments in the story hit the nail on the head--not enough parent supervision and not enough for teens to do. Parents have got to supervise teens and not think they have the maturity of adults. Also, get teens involved in community projects, especially in the summer.
Barb

Golden, CO

#20 Jul 29, 2008
lost in translantion wrote:
As a parent of one of these kids I find your attitudes and comments insulting, no wonder these kids won't ask for help. It's pretty easy to point fingers at the parents, that eliminates all responsibility of the community. There are no rehab centers around for these kids, and the few that are you can't get into if you have insurance, most insurances don't cover much. What people don't seem to understand is this is a huge problem in our area. These kids that are OD-ing aren't unsupervised, unloved, or spoiled kids. Many are athletes, honor-students, and come from good homes and families. The drugs today arent' like the drugs in the"old days" sure we had access to Pot and alcohol, these are hard core drugs we didn't have exposure to. Wake up people, these kids are in serious trouble, the drugs they are taking are mainly prescription drugs that we never dreamed of having access to, they are taking vicodins, then oxycodon and graduating to the much cheaper and most deadly heroin, because its CHEAP. The have no clue that in a mattter of three uses they will be addicts, and that it WILL ruin them. The bottom line is addicts end up in one of three places, jail, institutions or dead. I'm a Mom, you know what-call me a bad mother, call me uncaring, useless-call me what you like---just as long as you helps these kids so one more doen't have to die.
I empathize with you. I too have a very bright child who experimented with drugs as a teen. I combed the bushes looking for a place to help him. I found it in Indiana. It wasn't expensive either since I was a single parent receiving no child support at the time. So it takes a LOT of diligence on the parents' and community's part. I didn't give up. Parenting teens is a full-time job.

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