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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Grandville Parent

Muskegon, MI

#21 Jul 29, 2008
Wow, are some of you judgemental without knowing more of the facts! Don't assume that every kid that makes bad choices has parents that don't care or don't spend time with him/her. In our case, we did the best we could with what we knew, but one of our four kids, at age 17, started making poor choices which led to serious substance abuse issues.

We were/are a middle class two parent family with clear expectations, guidelines, and consequences which were enforced. This was mixed with lots of time and attention focused on the kids as individuals. We went to all of their sporting events, extracurricular events, etc., spent plenty of time in open communcation with them, talked about the pitfalls of drugs, alcohol, etc., made the unpopular phone calls to parents we didn't know to find out if they were on the same page, if there was supervision and so on. We made their friends feel welcome at our home and made sure they were well supervised. We tried to eat dinner as a family together every night that our schedules permitted, attended church together, volunteered together, etc. They were also involved in part time jobs and sports and church activities. When we realized a problem was developing, we got our son into counseling, wrote a home rules contract which was consistently enforced, tightened up the supervision, etc. But he has a very addictive personality and the disease took hold quickly. Don't underestimate the power of a kid who really, really wants to do something very badly. They can be incredibly sneaky. I think you need to have more compassion for those involved in situations that you know nothing about and not automatically judge us all as terrible parents. By the grace of God, our son is making good progress but our family needs support and encouragement, not condemnation.
Pete

Grand Rapids, MI

#22 Jul 29, 2008
Give the city of Portage some credit for at least coming togther to talk about the situation at hand. Of course you will hear the standard watch your kids and be more invovled speaches, but you can't be everywhere. Also I'm sure that some of these kids who OD (But Not Everyone) were in homes that were supportive and responsible.

The fact of the matter is that these people are trying through communication to help solve the problem. If the City of Portage can have any success in curbing these problems, maybe the City of Grand Rapids can take notice.

With all the shootings that we have around here there is more than ample reason for this area to have these sort of forums. When people come together often and communicate in a postive
and frank way as adults will show the kids it's all right to come forward and discuss the issues that surround them as individuals and a community as well.

Since: Jul 08

Kalamazoo, MI

#23 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.
You should be insulted. Then you should open your eyes. Spend some one on one time with a child on drugs and guess what....You'll figure out they are on something. No one is saying that just because they are on drugs they are loser lazy kids. Honor students and athletes can get caught up in it too. BUT being in their business all the time will help you to recognize a problem, and make them wonder if they can do something like that without getting "caught"
aspire for better

Detroit, MI

#24 Jul 29, 2008
If their is not a local detox center for teens addicted to drugs then that would be the fist step. We can not ignore the need for treating our youth for addiction. Clearly it is an issue. Parents need to be more involved you can not hide an addiction to a drugs.
reality bites

Detroit, MI

#25 Jul 29, 2008
Addicition requires a desire to stop - once the desire is there they need community help to be avaialable. Even if the kids good kids- you can not hide behavior related to addiction. Herion is a strong drug with definate side effects. you get ill once addicted and you do not have a fix. SO yes a treatment center is needed- so who is willing to donate - or run the committee to gather funds and awareness for the need. I know their are rehabilitation centers for adults what is concerened parents showed up at the next board meeting and asked for help with the need for teenage treatment? Whould get your foot in the door to see how and what is needed to get the demand met. For the record their is a program called AA and NA that work for those people that have a desire to stop and stay stopped. The cool thing about NA & AA they have a VERY involved teen population. SO if you are looking for resources for the willing start their. And don't give up the fight!
Picture Perfect

Redwood City, CA

#27 Jul 29, 2008
Grandville Parent wrote:
Wow, are some of you judgemental without knowing more of the facts! Don't assume that every kid that makes bad choices has parents that don't care or don't spend time with him/her. In our case, we did the best we could with what we knew, but one of our four kids, at age 17, started making poor choices which led to serious substance abuse issues.
We were/are a middle class two parent family with clear expectations, guidelines, and consequences which were enforced. This was mixed with lots of time and attention focused on the kids as individuals. We went to all of their sporting events, extracurricular events, etc., spent plenty of time in open communcation with them, talked about the pitfalls of drugs, alcohol, etc., made the unpopular phone calls to parents we didn't know to find out if they were on the same page, if there was supervision and so on. We made their friends feel welcome at our home and made sure they were well supervised. We tried to eat dinner as a family together every night that our schedules permitted, attended church together, volunteered together, etc. They were also involved in part time jobs and sports and church activities. When we realized a problem was developing, we got our son into counseling, wrote a home rules contract which was consistently enforced, tightened up the supervision, etc. But he has a very addictive personality and the disease took hold quickly. Don't underestimate the power of a kid who really, really wants to do something very badly. They can be incredibly sneaky. I think you need to have more compassion for those involved in situations that you know nothing about and not automatically judge us all as terrible parents. By the grace of God, our son is making good progress but our family needs support and encouragement, not condemnation.
So where did this all-American, perfect family go wrong? Can you share any faults as you have your fantastic parenting skills?

“Be your own hero.”

Since: Jul 08

Location hidden

#28 Jul 30, 2008
Picture Perfect wrote:
<quoted text>
So where did this all-American, perfect family go wrong? Can you share any faults as you have your fantastic parenting skills?
Sometimes it's nobody's fault. Parents can do everything "right" and still their child may get into something. All you ever do is better your odds.
M Doe-Simkins

Chicago, IL

#29 Jul 30, 2008
Parents and public health officials can consider an immediate, targeted acute response to the increase in overdose fatalities- overdose prevention and management training including naloxone. Public and non-profit organizations in Chicago, Massachusetts, California, New York, New Mexico, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, New Haven, and others have responded to the overdose epidemic in this manner. Access to treatment is absolutely essential, as is access to education and materials that can save lives in an acute emergency.
Here is a link to an NPR article on these programs:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php...
SubstantiallyOut raged

Lawrence, MI

#30 Jul 30, 2008
Picture Perfect wrote:
<quoted text>
So where did this all-American, perfect family go wrong? Can you share any faults as you have your fantastic parenting skills?
This girl was how old and how involved in her school activities? One of the usual signs of drug addiction is the addict withdraws from activities, family and friends.

Maybe the parents were setting an example for their children by going to work and paying bills, instead of kicking back on the taxpayers dime. You know, supporting their family. There's a new concept.

Maybe deadbeat welfare addicts make better parents? Yeah, everyone should try that sometime.

Here's the thing.. kids won't wear flashing signs around their necks that say "I started taking Vicodin or shooting heroin". By the time you realize the kid is addicted to heroin, which can happen really quickly, your Mary Poppins radar fires up to help your child, but you find out there are no resources available.

Sure, you might see eventual or sudden onset changes in behaviour which prompts your suspicions. Naturally you are going to talk to them and ask if they are taking drugs, but what is their answer going to be?
"Yes mom and dad, I take at least 50 pills a week, I'm addicted and that is why you see these changes"?

Um no.

I would advise every parent to have their kid get drug tested immediately if heroin is so prevelant in that area. You need to start finding out how many kids are on this disasterous killer and get to the source, before you lose more.

You can't be everywhere, every minute and despite your best efforts sometimes everything you have taught them flies right out the window in minutes. Yes it could happen to your perfect angel too.

Don't be a friend, be a dictator. Start testing them NOW!
Douglas Chinchar

Tampa, FL

#31 Aug 14, 2008
Go to www.knowdrugtest.com
It's a nes EZ to use deterrant for teens. parents just put this awesome looking box on your fridge and let it do it's thing.
The test was deveolped to open the lines of communication, give teens a way out of peer pressure, and if you have to test!
Tony

Kalamazoo, MI

#32 Aug 14, 2008
Douglas Chinchar wrote:
Go to www.knowdrugtest.com
It's a nes EZ to use deterrant for teens. parents just put this awesome looking box on your fridge and let it do it's thing.
The test was deveolped to open the lines of communication, give teens a way out of peer pressure, and if you have to test!
It's definitely good to test but these kids are too 'internet smart'. There are soooo many sites out there with info on passing drug tests and believe me they work!

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