Drugs ruin lives.
And they don’t ruin just the lives of the people who make a conscious decision to try them and get slowly sucked into a life of addiction, where all thoughts and actions are dictated by the next fix.
They ruin families. They ruin the bonds between parents and children, no matter the age. They ruin the lives of little kids.
These unwilling participants will face a lifetime of mental and behavioral issues, long into their adult years. Children of addicts grow up and either use drugs, because it’s been made to look morally acceptable because of the adults in their lives, form relationships with addicts to care for them, much like they’ve had to care for their parents, or deal with a host of mental issues, like feelings of worthlessness and depression and hopelessness.
All because these little children didn’t grow up feeling protected, secure or like they were more valuable than a high or a fix.
But we have hope. We hope that the state’s system of drug courts can finally start to fix some of these social ills and break the cycle of drug abuse in families. One of the most important battles in the war against drugs is happening in homes in our own community. And if we can just change a handful of lives, that will trickle down to future generations of children who don’t have to feel alone or scared or abandoned.
There’s reason to believe that what the state has done with its system of drug courts is successful. According to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, since the beginning of 2011, more than 70 babies have been born drug-free to women participating in drug courts. Of those born drug-free, 10 babies were born to participants in juvenile drug courts.
Several months ago, Marion County joined many others in the state to establish a drug court system. Participants in the Marion County drug court program are individuals who have committed crimes because of their drug addiction. Changing behavior, counseling and random drug testing are just some steps the drug court takes to help the participants stay drug-free.
That doesn’t just change the lives of the addict, officials say. It changes the lives of everyone who comes in contact with them, especially their children.
Travis Zimmerman, with the Marion County Adult Drug Court, said using illegal drugs runs in the family for many of the people who go through the program.
“It’s a family cycle of substance abuse that goes from one generation to the next, and so on,” Zimmerman said.
Educating those who abuse drugs and ending that cycle is critical to a family’s lifestyle. Zimmerman said until the pattern of individuals having children with drugs in their system or later getting addicted to substances is interrupted, the problem will remain in the family.
Zimmerman said working to make drug court participants better husbands, wives, fathers and mothers can play an instrumental role in how a child grows up. “Our men are fathers,” Zimmerman said. “Even to have them clean and sober, reconnecting with their children and being good fathers not only is it impactful for them, but it’s incredibly impactful for their children.”
In 2012, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals released research it had been conducting on a national level. In the report it states that between 60 and 80 percent of substantiated child abuse and neglect cases involve substance abuse by a custodial parent or guardian.
Addiction is a disease. We wish that before someone swallowed a pill, smoked a substance or injected a drug into a vein, they could see the impact it has on every person in their lives. They can’t, unfortunately.
But if it takes getting caught committing a crime and going through a program to start building the foundation for a drug-free life for the addict and their children, that’s something that we can support and something we believe needs to be financially supported on the state and county levels.
Drugs ruin lives.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
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- State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core