The recent editorial letter in the Daytona Beach News Journal : "Children suffer most from prescription drug epidemic," was an amazing and informative opinion article. Many caught up in the pill addiction cannot function to really be there for their young children and unless there is early intervention, the child may not ever really catch up in many areas. Sometimes it seems as if these young children are parenting their parents. The article mentions "In July, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office charged the parents of a 17-month-old boy with homicide-aggravated manslaughter of a child after toxicology results showed the baby had oxycodone in his blood when he died. Authorities believe the child had access to oxycodone and other pills used by the parents." The article also states, "Intervention programs can help protect children and keep families together. But there isn't much funding available for these programs. The Family Intervention Program for Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties can handle 40 cases at a time. With more funding, child welfare officials could expand the effort and help more parents and children."
If the parents felt they had a safe place for their child, when they know they are going to be using pain medications perhaps a tragedy like this could've been avoided. Recently I read that they were closing down a daycare facility at the Daytona State College because there were not enough children using it (http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2012/05/26/post-1.html) Why not use that as a respite care for some of these children so a tragedy like the one mentioned in the article could be averted? I'm not talking about people bringing their kids there at night so they can use or go out and party, but a daytime thing with volunteers or workers from churches or even High School students needing to earn volunteer credits.
I know, this sounds like enabling but how many young children's lives do we lose before someone steps in? If a parent is using this resource too often then that family could be hooked up with the Neighbor to Family, Family In-Home Resource & Support Team (FIRST) program that goes into homes with help.
I attend the Substance Abuse Task Force meetings where many people from all walks of life come to try to find solutions for the drug epidemic that is among us. There are many parents, leaders, people in the Faith community, doctors, School board members, NOPE representatives and others attending these meetings just trying to make a difference in even one life.
The Good Book says, "And The King answers and says to them, 'Amen, I say to you, as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers, you have done that to me.' (Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
We do need to think of the children and the title of the opinion letter says it best, "Children suffer most from prescription drug epidemic." Can our community make a difference for these little ones?
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